The Windham Region Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that it has joined the nationwide movement to save small businesses and is the first chamber from Connecticut to do so. The Save Small Business Coalition is a group of over 200 chambers of commerce and business associations across the nation created to address the issues and concerns generated from the COVID pandemic. This coalition is not about one single industry, this is about all small businesses across the nation that need funds right now to stay afloat to maintain the continuity of their business. We are asking for extraordinary emergency action by the Government to empower an urgent solution that currently doesn’t exist.
For many months, communities across our nation have seen their local businesses make difficult decisions to reduce hours, lay off employees, and sadly, in some cases, close their doors for good. Many businesses have not qualified for disaster loan programs and some cannot afford to incur additional debt. With guidelines changing constantly and business owners trying desperately to meet the requirements, an environment of financial uncertainty has been created.
The SSBS’s latest call to action has been a letter to congress asking for an immediate “Phase 4” bill that includes:
Paycheck Protection Program Extension and Enhancement:
- Broaden the definition of forgivable expenses to include costs associated with protecting employees and customers and expand the period during which expenses qualify for loan forgiveness.
- Simplified good faith certification for loan forgiveness of loans under $150,000.
- Expansion of eligible borrowers to include all non-profits including 501(c)(6) organizations with no more than 300 employees as long as PPP funds are not used for lobbying.
- Authorization of a second round of loans for small businesses experiencing revenue reductions of 35% or more.
- Provide $1.3 billion to assist job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services through a combination of new and existing programs.
Business Liability Protection:
- Protection from COVID-19 related exposure liability for those employers who follow applicable federal, state, or local government guidelines for the protection of their employees and/or customers.
- Protection from liability claims arising from COVID-19 medical care for healthcare workers and facilities.
State and Local Aid:
- Assist state and local government’s experiencing one-time COVID-related expenses and revenue shortfalls based on fixed share of actual costs and revenue shortfalls within an overall funding cap.