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Small businesses need to unite

A screenshot of Mathew Petrini’s new Facebook page. The page had 216 likes at 10 p.m. Thursday.

Send signed letters to [email protected]

My name is Matthew Petrini and I am one of the owners at My 3 Sons in Norwalk.  My father started this family fun business when I was just four years old. My 3 Sons Family Fun Center has been a fixture in the Norwalk Community for almost 30 years now! Sadly, what is happening in our country right now due to COVID-19 threatens the future of my business. I’m not alone in this!

I have decided to create a Facebook page in an effort to UNITE small businesses in Connecticut. Our businesses are our livelihood and we can NOT allow our voices to fall on deaf ears.  Currently there is a huge disconnect between our political leaders and the small business community not just in Connecticut but world wide. 

As many of you know almost every corporate company that applied for the PPP grant not only received funding immediately but so did colleges, hospitals, and many other large-scale businesses. Small local businesses once thriving in their community suddenly cannot get answers and are receiving what many describe as “the run around.”

We must hold our elected officials accountable both on a local and national level. They will only implore positive change if we all UNITE and demand the solutions that we as hardworking business owners within our community deserve.  We must work collaboratively to ensure that those that have the ability to secure our fate through policy and grants have no option but to listen and act!

There is a huge gap as to how COVID-19 funding is being dispersed and it’s clear small business owners were not well considered.  Local businesses that chose pre COVID-19 to utilize smaller neighborhood banks rather than a larger big bank are now left with a major disadvantage in receiving funding. I for one am one of those customers of a smaller bank and now affected negatively because the smaller banks have decided not to participate in helping small businesses like mine to receive these loans or grants. This should not be acceptable.

If you are a business owner, know a business owner, aspire to become one, or simply a concerned citizen who is dissatisfied that corporate American companies have a huge advantage over local small businesses within your community, please join this group. Help share our message, invite as many people as you can to this group, and let’s tell our politicians that what they are doing simply is NOT enough! We need help and we need it yesterday. We will NOT stand for a great lack in leadership.

No business owner should be asked to shut down for months, have their profits taken away from them, and then be forced into massive amounts of debt, bankruptcy, or even worse have to deal with legal troubles because their livelihoods cannot operate.  Local small business owners who were once thriving within the community are now faced with the harsh realities of losing their blood, sweat and tears, their business! They are lying awake at night wondering if they will be able to put food on the table for their family, lose their homes and so many other unimaginable scenarios.

Facebook has a lot of negatives, but it also has a lot of positives because it gives us the ability to multiply in numbers, come together and spread our message effectively and loudly.  Join me in this effort, to save the livelihood of all small business owners struggling during this unprecedented time. Let’s do it peacefully, legally and strategically before it’s too late.

This page will not tolerate any hateful messages but the concept behind it is to have as many people as we can join and then together as a group reach political leaders who can work for us and represent us! We demand change to how these funds are being dispersed. Too many weeks have passed with no answers and no relief in sight. There is little confidence and no reassurance. If you have any questions, please message me and remember United WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.  Time is of the essence. We can’t afford to wait.

Matthew Petrini

4 comments

Jonathan Miller May 1, 2020 at 8:54 am

I totally agree! I’ve been in business for over 16 years and should not have to close up shop when funds have been given to me to stay open but favoritism and greed rob us all of our funding.

Scott Vetare May 1, 2020 at 9:58 am

Well put Matthew. It’s sad that you and other small businesses have to deal with this. I’m sorry to hear this and angry at the same time. It is time to get rid of these “career politicians” and elect people like us, for the good of America! I pray you and all other small businesses get back on your feet soon.

Local Woman-owned May 1, 2020 at 2:05 pm

Matthew, spot on. Your Lincoln quote has great significance in Connecticut these days – A house divided cannot stand. Luckily I bank with a mid-size CT bank so I was able to get the PPP funding. But big-businesses and governments crowd out Main Street, and then partner for power and wealth at the expense of Main Street’s business owners. Sometimes I feel like we are just “spoken to”, never listened to, by people who have the power to tax us, fine us, hold up business openings, show up with a swat team and scare the living daylight out of us, and even force us to close our doors. I can’t imagine that a crowed Walmart is a safer place than a small Main Street store with one person behind the counter.

Connecticut is one of the most beautiful states in the nation. We should speak loud and clear about our quality of life, great universities, spacious hill country and AMAZING shoreline. And Downtown Norwalk sits right in the middle of it all. It beats having to share an elevator with four other people before you even hit the street.

I hear rumblings about a federal payroll tax break, and a call even for a break from federal taxes all together for at least a short time. I am definitely joining this facebook page. Small business owners are the best hope for the sustainability of our own state’s economic health.

Don Mastronardi May 2, 2020 at 2:35 pm

Right on Matty. I am standing right there by your side. There is a wave coming that will force these politicians to listen and not go out of their way to hurt and demonize us or use us when it is in their benefit. We need one single and loud voice to say enough is enough. The ground is rumbling and we will get thru this together.

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