By Jon King/

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin held a second needs assessment conference call on Wednesday in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The 8th District Democrat said that more than 70 local government and community leaders took part in the call as she briefed them on the federal response to the crisis and hearing their direct feedback and concerns about how the coronavirus is impacting their local communities. Slotkin said it’s important to keep the lines of communication open so she can hear directly from them about what they need from the federal level. She added that she was, “incredibly encouraged that leaders across the district are sharing lessons and best practices” that will help her office serve every 8th District resident better. “As this crisis continues, the service and steady hand of these leaders in their local communities will become even more valuable.” Slotkin held a similar call on March 13, and on Tuesday, held a large tele-town hall with more than 6,000 8th District residents to update them and answer their questions about the public health crisis and recovery plans.

On Wednesday’s call, Slotkin said she encouraged leaders to work closely with their small businesses to prepare to apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster relief loans after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday formally applied for SBA disaster relief. Slotkin said she hopes the SBA moves quickly to approve the governor’s request, and reminded those on the call of steps Michigan small businesses can take to be ready to apply. She also discussed with healthcare leaders their continued concerns about the availability of protective equipment for medical professionals who are treating potential COVID-19 patients, and their preparations for the possibility of higher patient loads as the crisis continues.

Additionally, Slotkin encouraged businesses and local chambers of commerce to participate in an 8th District virtual business summit she will hold at 1 p.m. Friday. Businesses in the 8th congressional district can register online to participate, and you’ll that link below.