Second Gentleman Pool Reports of May 18, 2021

May 18, 2021

Pool Reports by Danielle Ohl, The Capital

Sent: Reports:
May 18, 2021

SGOTUS Maryland Pool Report #1

Pool #1

Good morning, all. I'm Danielle Ohl of The Capital in Annapolis and I'll be your pooler this morning.

It's 9:30, sunny and clear here on Back Creek in Eastport, a waterfront neighborhood of Annapolis.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff is at the Annapolis Maritime Museum for a tour and round table with local business owners who are recovering from shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tour will kick off shortly.

Emhoff is joined by:

-Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley
-Rep. John Sarbanes
-Sen. Ben Cardin
-Monica Alvarado, owner of Bread & Butter Kitchen here in Eastport and a founder of Feed Anne Arundel, a coalition that kept restaurant workers employed and county residents fed during the pandemic
-Joel Bunker, owner of Brown Mustache Coffee (one of your pooler's favorites, if I'm allowed to say so)
-Administrator Isabel Guzman of the Small Business Administration
-Roxana Rodriguez, owner of Caliente Grill in Annapolis
-Spencer Jones, owner of Chick & Ruth's Delly, a 50-year Annapolis institution

All business owners received PPP loans that helped them retain employees and keep their businesses going during the pandemic. The Annapolis Maritime Museum also received a loan.

May 18, 2021

SGOTUS Maryland Pool report #2

It's 9:36 and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff just concluded a tour of the Annapolis Maritime Museum alongside Sen. Ben Cardin and Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. Everyone, including media and your pooler, is maskless.

Museum Executive Director Alice Estrada walked the tour through three exhibits explaining the city's waterfront industry, the history of the oyster economy and the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

Emhoff is now seated at a round table with the business owners. Buckley thanked the Biden/Harris administration for its focus on small business recovery.

"We still have to get through this year," Buckley said. "There's a big hole that we have to fill. So we truly appreciate you keeping a focus on this, and we look forward to you coming back here."

Emhoff thanks Buckley for hosting. Says he and Vice President Kamala Harris came to Annapolis to get out of their home during the pandemic. Thanks Cardin for help getting the American Rescue Plan passed.

"The administration knows full well that small business has been hit hard," Emhoff said. "But small business can't recover until the country recovers."

"That's why we need to pass the American Jobs Plan."

Emhoff remarks this is his first event without masks.

May 18, 2021

SGOTUS Maryland Pool report #3

It's 10:12 a.m. and the Annapolis business owners are discussing the decisions they had to make early in the pandemic. Spencer Jones took over his father's business, Chick & Ruth's Delly, early in 2021, right before the pandemic hit.

He said PPP helped assure him the decades old Main Street business would survive.

Roxana Rodriguez, owner of Caliente Grill, said she thought her business was done for after they closed doors on March 16.

As more businesses open, we compete with corporations that provide benefits to employees, Rodriguez said. She and other business owners are discussing the challenges facing them: higher cost of products, difficultly staffing fully.

Jones said he is raising the salaries of some of his employees to help attract and retain staff.

May 18, 2021

SGOTUS Maryland Pool report #4

It's 10:22 a.m. and the round table discussion is wrapping up.

Sen. Ben Cardin has the last word. Says loans for very small businesses and new restaurants are a priority for the Biden/Harris team as well as Congress.

"Your feedback really helps us, because you are the targets we're trying to help," Cardin said. Calls Annapolis indicative of Main Street America, the "real" small businesses Congress is trying to help.

Emhoff thanks everyone for their feedback.

"Nothing's going to keep us down," Emhoff said. "And this is the story of our country, and this is why you need a partner in government. Government is there to work for the citizens."

Emhoff is now taking photos with the business owners.

May 18, 2021

SGOTUS Pool report #5

It's 10:42 a.m. and your pooler has left the Annapolis Maritime Museum and is now at Bread And Butter Kitchen, awaiting Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff's arrival.

He'll have an outdoor table on the water.

May 18, 2021

SGOTUS Maryland Pool report #6

It's 10:59 a.m. and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff has arrived at Bread And Butter Kitchen in Eastport. He's having a private meeting with Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.

May 18, 2021

SGOTUS Maryland Pool report #7

It's 11:27 a.m. and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff has left Bread And Butter Kitchen in Annapolis, Maryland.

Maryland Attorney General Frosh says they talked about his office's Access to Justice report and what it's like to be with the Second Gentleman.

Monica Alvarado, owner of Bread And Butter, said Emhoff introduced himself to her staff. She underscored the importance of immigration reform to her and her staff.

This'll be my second last report; I'll have a few more quotes coming.

May 18, 2021

SGOTUS Maryland Pool report #8

Final report here. Full quotes from the round table included below. Need anything else, I'm at

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff

"The administration knows full well at small business has been hit hard. I think the stat was 400,000 small businesses have closed. And we've heard about other museums closing. This one has done well. But that's been the story, as I saw with my own eyes, traveling the country.

That's why as Biden Harris administration, has been working around the clock on offering programs to help all Americans," he said. "But small business can't recover until the country recovers".

"So that's why it's important, as I mentioned, for the American
rescue plan to work, but it's just a stopgap. We need more. And that's why we need to pass the American jobs plan, which is going to not only rebuild infrastructure, bridges, roads, tunnels, but also high speed internet. And it's also going to help us compete in the 21st century, and it's going to create millions of high paying jobs."

"This is our first event without masks. It's the first event where we can actually see each other and shake hands, maybe. And why? Because vaccines are working; they are working. And the more people that take these vaccines, the more we can continue to open up our countries and get back to doing the things we want to do. But it's also going to help our economy. Because once we're able to these vaccines, we can all go back to the small businesses and the restaurants and the bars and all the things that we normally do."

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley

"I can speak to how important the federal loan has been in the city of Annapolis. I can speak to it as a mayor and I can speak to it as a restaurant owner that without PPP loans many businesses in the city would've shuttered."

"And we knew that when the shutdown happened, that not only would we have a health crisis on our hands, but we would also have an economic crisis. And we knew that 10s of 1000s of people in the city were going to be put in the street and many of them without resources. And so the PPP loans truly helped their businesses survive."

Sen. Ben Cardin, who chairs the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

"Today, we see people having confidence to come back to all of our businesses, particularly small businesses and restaurants, who were devastated by COVID-19. Through the leadership with Biden, Harris administration, we see the light at the end of the tunnel."

Doug Emhoff, Second Gentleman Pool Reports of May 18, 2021 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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