Small Business Day discussion answered questions on topics ranging from minimum wage to grants to health care to whether there should be a sales tax on services
Gov. Brad Little visited NFIB-member, small-business owners for their February 8 Small Business Day at the Capitol event to apprise them of the state initiatives undertaken to help Main Street shops re-open, stay open, and remain solvent.
The governor began his remarks by thanking NFIB for its contributions to his many plans to keep Idaho from backsliding into the situations many states find themselves in. The whole art, according to the governor, was to address the pandemic head on without leaving a legacy of a crippled business climate from higher taxes and new rules. “We want to continue to be the least regulated state in the union,” said Governor Little.
The governor listed many of his accomplishments that he believed has Idaho in a better situation than its neighbors, from providing $75 million in state grants to 8,700 business for help with keeping their doors open to using $200 million in CARES Act money to shore up the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund, noting that Washington state businesses are facing a 300% increase in their UI taxes. Today, Idaho’s UI trust fund is in the healthiest condition in the nation, according to the governor.
When asked what he considered his proudest achievement, which he called his North Star, the governor responded it was making sure Idaho had the health care capacity to deal with the pandemic, the step that had to be taken before any other. “Had to make people feel safe. Public health is somewhat of an art, somewhat of a science.” said the governor. Governor Little also cited the waiving of 150 health care rules to get things moving faster and the implementation of telehealth, which had made treatment 40 times faster, and which the previous presidential administration sought to copy from Idaho.
The governor fielded questions from members from Boise to Burley to Buhl. Other topics discussed were:
- new strains of the virus
- PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment)
- the minimum wage
- extending the sales tax to services
- local broadband capacity
- child care
- new transportation funding
Click the arrow below to hear the entire 39-minute discussion with Gov. Brad Little.
One of the bigger benefits of membership in NFIB is the opportunity to hear directly from top elected officials and to discuss with them how policies are affecting your right to own, operate and grow your business. Keep an eye on your email for more to come. And, check in occasionally with the NFIB Idaho webpage for the latest information.