Andria McClellan, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia, released a plan Thursday, April 29, outlining her political platform to support small businesses emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with the plan’s launch, McClellan visited the town of Herndon to speak with Mayor Sheila Olem and members of the state’s local small business community. Herndon’s visit was part of an ongoing tour of Northern Virginia and the state as early voting in the Democratic primary begins.
Visiting various businesses in the city, including Green Lizard Cycling and Great Harvest Bread Co., McClellan acknowledged the challenges many small businesses faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, while praising the sense of community fostered by city officials and residents.
“It’s great to see a community like Herndon where community members have come together and supported local businesses and created the GoFundMe pages and things like that,” McClellan said. “Hearing Mayor Olem about how their economic department was helped by parks and recreation people calling all the small businesses and doing that makes me feel really good in the community. “
Currently a member of Norfolk City Council, McClellan says his plan for a small business was shaped by his more than 30 years of experience volunteering, fundraising and pursuing a variety of business activities, including working with non-profit organizations and the public sector as well as two start-up companies.
“What happens to small independent businesses, when they make money, they put it back into the community where they work and where their employees work,” said McClellan. “So supporting these businesses and jobs also supports the community as a whole. “
Its plan focuses on reducing red tape to clarify and simplify certification processes while providing government support to communities in need of help. She also wants to foster “local and regional small business ecosystems” by connecting small business owners to each other and to resources.
McClellan’s plan also calls for more opportunities for new businesses that work with renewable energy sources and water quality and for more public funding to expand access to capital for small businesses through microcredit, mid-range capital and seed finance.
She believes the state’s economy and tax revenues are in better shape than expected given the impact of the pandemic, but stressed that she remains concerned about what will happen to people “who have suffered so much. When the federal moratorium on evictions ends.
“It’s great to see this thriving community here, but I think underlying all of our communities there are a lot of people who are still suffering,” said McClellan. “We’re going to see this in a lot more detail in the second half of this year and we need to prepare for it.”
McClellan confronts Del. Hala Ayala, Del. Mark Levine, Sean Perryman, Del. Sam Rasoul and Xavier Warren for the Democratic nomination to replace Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, candidate for governor. Voting for the Democratic primary ends on June 8.