NSBA Outlines Phase Four Priorities

July 22, 2020

On Tuesday, July 20, NSBA sent a letter to all Members of Congress outlining the priorities for small business when it comes to the Phase Four stimulus package.

“We appreciate Congress and the administration moving quickly to mitigate the threats COVID-19 poses to public health, our economy, and workers across the country,” stated Todd McCracken in the letter. “Yet, COVID-19 continues to wreak widespread economic hardship and insecurity among small businesses, harming not just the owners, but their employees and the countless families that depend on small businesses.”

Further actions are needed to strengthen the economy and specifically improve and protect small-business cash-flow. The cash-crunch that many small businesses are now facing is forcing otherwise successful companies to close, further deepening an economic downturn. Maintaining small business cash-flow and liquidity is key to enabling successful small businesses to get to the other side of this crisis.

NSBA has endorsed the following provisions:

  • Improve and protect small-business cash-flow by including the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program (P4) legislation which would authorize another round of funding for companies with fewer than 100 workers that saw revenue drop by at least half due to the pandemic and also expect to exhaust their initial PPP loans.
  • Include the Small Business Expense Protection Act of 2020 (S. 3612) to underscore the original Congressional intent of allowing forgiven PPP expenses to be deductible as ordinary business expenses—something that IRS did NOT adhere to which will in effect, tax forgiven PPP dollars and reduce the actual amount of aid extended to small businesses.
  • Enact payroll tax relief that addresses both employer and employee rates in order to put money in the pockets of workers, consumers and small businesses to grow economic opportunity.
  • Include the Jumpstarting Our Businesses’ Success Credit (JOBS Credit) Act of 2020 (H.R. 6776) which includes a number of policy enhancements that aims to expand, update and improve the Employee Retention Tax Credit in order to assist a much greater number of small businesses.
  • Allow small businesses to qualify for both a PPP loan and an ERTC, but with guardrails in place to prevent “double dipping” – something the CARES Act failed to do.
  • Provide temporary liability protections for businesses that work to follow applicable public health guidelines against COVID-19 exposure claims, yet ensure such protections are limited and preserve recourse for those harmed by truly bad actors who engage in egregious misconduct.
  • Ease regulatory impediments, extend filing deadlines where possible and create “grace periods” and/or an enforcement moratorium for rule violations that do not immediately endanger health and safety and where companies are acting in good faith.

NSBA recently released a small business survey on COVID-19, which concluded that the majority of small businesses—69 percent—say they are still very concerned about COVID-19. Just one-third of small businesses are very confident they will fully recover from the pandemic and economic downturn and two-in-three small businesses are still experiencing reduced customer demand for their products and services.

“Small-business owners are inherently optimistic and confident in their ability to run their business, however economic insecurity can become an insurmountable hurdle for many,” stated McCracken. “Most small businesses exist on very narrow margins and simply do not have the scope necessary to juggle employees and finances around to float the business indefinitely absent revenues coming in. If small-business owners have little faith in the ability for our country to recover, they will be hesitant to grow, invest in their businesses and create jobs.”

Please click here to read the full letter.

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