Jonnel Doris took over as Small Business Commissioner as the pandemic and ensuing shutdown nearly paralyzed the city’s small businesses. He and his agency have been tasked since then with getting the message out to small business owners that help is available, getting them the info they needed to apply for PPP loans/grants, reaching out to let them know that other funds are available, and getting them familiar with the rules guiding this strange, new world. 

As many of those businesses closed their doors forever, SBS worked to keep the rest of the city’s small businesses open. When PPP ended in May, it was their job to find new ways to help, with city funding directed toward local businesses. 

He joins In Focus this week to talk about how that fight is going, and to get the message out to small businesses that the city stands ready to help, and to remind consumers that it’s always a good time to shop small, but no time is better than Small Business Saturday.

Doris talks about funding the city has at the ready, but more than that, as the eviction moratorium comes to an end, he talks about programs to help business owners with lawyers who can help fight their cases in court. He also speaks about the department’s door-knock initiative, where he and his staff go from business to business to find out what, specifically, they need to keep thriving amid COVID and the other crises hitting small businesses especially hard. 

And, again, to remind all of us that shopping small will do more than solve your holiday shopping problems. It could help keep one of your neighbors in business.