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Build Back Better good for working families

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The pandemic has been brutally hard on our families and businesses. We can only hope for a time where we can all safely return to life as we knew it before the pandemic. 

As two small-business owners in the Valley, it has been tough on us during the pandemic. Our businesses are everything to us. They are how we support our families. And they are how we provide health care to our families. While we have been fortunate during the pandemic, many challenges linger. 

Mark Monas

In Arizona, to make matters more difficult, we have a governor and Legislature that have had little interest in putting the people first. Efforts to help a small business like ours have been minimal. Instead of working to help families in Arizona, our leaders have spent their time bickering over mask mandates and using CARES Act funds to protect the state’s rainy-day fund. 

Thankfully though, we’ve had leaders in Washington who are concerned for our families and well-being. By voting for the American Rescue Plan, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly provided the assistance we needed to continue during the pandemic. 

But the work is not done. Many of the toughest challenges persist. If anything, the pandemic has only spotlighted many areas where we must improve if we genuinely want to help Arizona families. Care issues, including paid family and medical leave and affordable elder and child care would be transformational for small-business owners like us, powering a lasting recovery and propelling our economy forward. For those reasons, we ask that Sinema and Kelly support President Biden’s Build Back Better package, which includes investments in paid family and medical leave and affordable elder and child care. 

When you own your own business, days off are often few and far between. Yet, the needs of our families don’t wait. Paid family and medical leave would ensure that we, and our employees, are able to take time off to care for ourselves or a loved one. It would also ensure that we’re able to offer competitive benefits to recruit and retain top talent, which is critical to run a successful and profitable business.   

Much like paid family and medical leave, Build Back Better would help lower health care and prescription drug costs. Even with private insurance, prescription costs can be an enormous burden. Only last year, becoming ill with Valley Fever became incredibly expensive. Again, we were lucky, but with Build Back Better, Arizona families would be in a safer place to focus on recovering instead of how quickly they need to return to work. 

We can only imagine the stress of a family that could not access the prescription drugs they need while missing work due to an illness. Sinema and Kelly, this is why Arizonans need the Build Back Better agenda. 

We have a chance to put hardworking families first. Families continue to struggle to stay afloat. We need an economy that doesn’t punish families for caring for sick family members or crush families with prescription drug costs. And we can do all of this in a way that helps Arizona businesses flourish. 

Senator Sinema, Senator Kelly, we must put Arizona families first. We hope you will do that and support the Build Back Better Agenda. 

Mark Monas owns Caribbean Oasis, a Phoenix grocery that specializes in Caribbean specialty food products. 



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