The National Small Business Association (NSBA) congratulates all of the winners of the 2020 elections and looks forward to a productive nonpartisan working relationship that can address the many issues that face the small-business community.
Many small businesses that have been severely impacted by the pandemic are barely treading water at this point, due in-part to politicians’ nonstop electioneering taking a front-seat to legislating.
It’s time to get back to business.
There are near-term actions that Congress must take, top among them is to pass another stimulus bill which would allow the small businesses hardest hit to qualify for a second Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Specifically, America’s small-business community has been extremely hard-hit by the pandemic and ensuing economic downturn, and now — more than ever — we need policymakers to move past the tribalism that has taken over our political process and reach across the aisle.
Some key provisions that should be part of any stimulus are:
• Allow forgiven PPP expenses to be deductible as ordinary business expenses;
• Payroll-tax relief that addresses both employer and employee rates;
• Expand, update, and improve the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC);
• Allow small businesses to qualify for both a PPP loan and an ERTC, but prevent “double dipping;”
• Provide temporary liability protections for businesses that work to follow applicable public-health guidelines;
• Enable forgiveness funds to be used for PPE and other necessary safety modifications.
• Base regulatory impediments by extending filing deadlines where possible and create “grace periods” and/or an enforcement moratorium for rule violations that do not immediately endanger health and safety.
Congress must also deal the rapidly-approaching deadline of the current federal-spending approval and pass a more long-term spending bill by Dec. 11 to avoid what could be a catastrophic government shutdown.
COVID-19 continues to wreak widespread economic hardship and insecurity among small businesses and the 70 million people in the U.S. who run or work for a small business. Small business desperately needs our elected officials to carve a path forward from this pandemic — one that invites confidence in our economy and our collective ability to right this ship.
But first, we need our elected officials to simply do their jobs. Small-business owners rarely get a day off, and we’re not asking lawmakers to work 24/7; we just want them to pause the incessant interviewing for their next job.
Todd McCracken is president and CEO of the NSBA, which has been representing America’s small-business owners for more than 80 years. The NSBA calls itself “a staunchly nonpartisan organization with 65,000 members in every state and every industry in the U.S.” This article is drawn and edited from an email message the organization issued on Nov. 9.