Governor, Top State Officials Have Exclusive Conference Call with NFIB Members

Date: April 18, 2020

Small-business owners were provided the latest information on Idaho efforts to combat the coronavirus and on preparing for the challenges ahead

On the same day when, as expected, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced it had run out of funding for Paycheck Protection Program Loans (PPPL) and for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Gov. Brad Little, three top state officials, and an SBA regional administrator, held an exclusive conference call on April 17 for NFIB Idaho members.

“It’s important that people have confidence in what their state government is doing, what the health districts, what the hospitals, what the medical community are doing,” said the state’s chief executive. “That’s my goal.”

Confidence was the theme of Governor Little’s remarks, hitting on the feeling at the beginning and end of the 34-minute conference call. “Consumer confidence in this country and in the world has been shattered … Consumer confidence is imperative to you to sell your goods and services,” he told small-business owners.

Joining the governor for the call were:

  • Jani Revier, director of the Idaho Department of Labor
  • Jeremy Field, regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Dave Jeppesen, director of the Department of Health and Welfare
  • Patti Perkins, director of the Idaho Department of Finance

Revier discussed her office’s response to the spike in unemployment insurance claims and recommended to anyone about ready to file a claim to do it online. You don’t have to come to the office, which she said stops taking calls between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. so it can catch up with all the calls that came in earlier in the day. Importantly for NFIB members and the independent contractors they contract with, Revier pointed out that the federal CARES Act included some new unemployment programs, including benefits for the self-employed.

Field told members that his agency has processed more loan applications in the last 14 days than it had in the last 14 years. He also made some important distinctions between PPP and EIDL loans, pointing out the former was meant to be a stopgap until a small business could rebound.

Jeppesen handled a question about all the decisions that go into determining when Idahoans can return to work, and, in a pre-shortened version of the audio below, Perkins informed the callers that the state is working with community banks to help with the approval process for loans.

“The caliber of state officials we were able to draw to the conference call is a reflection of the high regard Governor Little and his team holds small businesses in,” said NFIB State Director Suzanne Budge. “They know the road to recovery begins on Main Street.” Budge and NFIB Grassroots Manager Stacy Jenkins produced the call, which can be listened to by clicking the arrow in the graphic below.

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