As restaurants, bars, gyms, entertainment venues, and other small employers eagerly awaited the higher capacity limits and fewer restrictions that began on Sunday, there was a sense of optimism that the worst of this COVID-nightmare- 19 of a year could finally be behind us.
However, reality tells us that these small businesses and others will take years – not just weeks or months – to fully recover from the extraordinary struggles of the past year.
Many of these companies have had to take out loans just to cover their payroll and keep the lights on. Many more have had to sell goods and equipment, while still others have been forced to delay critical expansions and upgrades.
The perfect storm of supply chain disruptions, mandatory business shutdowns, rising costs of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, strict capacity limits and reduced revenues has dealt a fatal blow to many employers, forcing them to close their doors for good. Others hold out for life.
As we look forward to what the future holds in a post-COVID-19 world, we need to be aware of how much our small employers have suffered and the time and effort they will need to get back into good financial health.
That’s why we brought forward a set of bills in Harrisburg to put Pennsylvania small businesses first and ensure that the employers who are the lifeblood of our economy can not only survive, but thrive in the years. future.
Our “Prioritize Small Business PAs” program takes a three-pronged approach to solving the daunting challenges employers face: direct financial assistance, tax reform, and regulatory relief.
We are not only giving them the tools to deal with the immediate pressure created by the pandemic, but we are also creating a roadmap for these employers to come back stronger than ever in the years to come.
The package would be:
– Create new loan and tax credit programs to support employers affected by government restrictions during the pandemic.
– Amend state tax laws to help affected businesses and level the playing field between small and large employers, while ensuring parity with federal law.
– Cut red tape and eliminate many of the regulatory burdens on small employers, while ensuring better oversight of new regulations that can create financial constraints for small businesses.
If we are to emerge from this crisis stronger than ever, we must make a concerted effort to create an environment conducive to business growth and jobs.
This means taking bold steps like the ‘Prioritize Small Business PA’ package bills to ensure that these vital parts of our community remain open to business for generations to come.
State Senator Ryan Aument, a Republican who resides in Mount Joy, represents the 36th District of the Senate; he is secretary of the Republican Senate caucus. Twitter: @SenatorAument. This editorial was co-authored by Republican State Sens. Camera Bartolotta, Kristin Phillips-Hill and Judy Ward.