In March, our nation faced an invisible enemy, and Congress came together to pass three relief bills: the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the CARES Act, and the Health Care and Paycheck Protection Program Enhancement Act.
Legislators from both sides of the aisle set aside their differences to deal with the health and economic consequences brought by an unprecedented situation.
It is that spirit of bipartisanship that we need to get things done for the American people.
Ohioans want to get back to work. Americans want to get back to work. And Congress needs to get to work to make that possible.
From ensuring that small businesses are able to weather the storm, to distributing vaccines to build herd immunity, there is plenty to be done to get our nation back to normal.
We need to pass a stimulus bill that allows Main Street to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program funds and allows small business to operate safety by including liability protections.
The Paycheck Protection Program has been a lifeline for nearly 10,000 businesses in the 15th District – all with revenues of less than $150,000. PPP allowed these business owners to keep close to 50,000 employees on payroll. That’s 50,000 families that did not have to worry about how they would put food on the table.
Now, Congress has the opportunity to extend the program and help countless more families. Congress also needs to ensure that the help given by the PPP does not become a burden in the future by making those funds tax deductible.
While businesses are struggling to get back on their feet, we can’t allow them to be hamstrung by an unexpected tax bill. PPP is working, and Congress needs to make sure it continues to work for those businesses that are in dire need.
Congress also needs to ensure that those who are taking every necessary precaution to keep their employees and their customers safe are not held liable if someone gets sick.
Certainly, gross negligence cannot be excused or ignored, but businesses that are meeting local, state, and federal guidelines should not be punished. If businesses cannot operate without fear of a lawsuit, our economy will not survive – liability protections are essential.
Without Main Street, the engine of our economy, we cannot hope to get folks back to work and with over 700,000 still unemployed, there’s no time to waste.
In every corner of the country, in red districts and blue districts, small businesses and the employees who depend on them are suffering, and we need to work together in a bipartisan manner to get them the relief that they need.
If you are a small business owner with questions about the PPP or other relief programs, please call my Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968.
Steve Stivers (R-Upper Arlington) represents Ohio’s 15th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.