U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader Answers NFIB Members' Questions

Date: May 10, 2020

Exclusive conference call provides Oregon small-business owners with the latest news from Congress

One of small business’ own took some time May 7 to apprise his fellow Oregon Main Street entrepreneurs of the latest news from Washington, D.C., and answer a range of questions from loan delays to the next phase of federal support.

“I grew two small businesses up from scratch,” said Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader on an exclusive conference call arranged by NFIB for its Oregon members, “so, I know what it’s like to meet a payroll and the difficulties in meeting a payroll. I also know what it’s like to be paid last, which is often the situation.“

The congressman conceded that the coronavirus has made it “a lot tougher right now” than when he was running his enterprises and confirmed a belief held by many small-business owners: “No amount of money from the federal government is going to fix this. It may help us get over the hump. Hopefully, it will keep some of you guys alive over the next month or so, but until we start opening the country up, in a safe way, we’re not going to get out of this … We cannot afford to stay shut down.”

The congressman was generally pleased with the federal government’s response with small-business aid. “I won’t pretend we got it all right. As a matter of fact, we’ve seen where there have been some lapses, but for the most part, given the fact that we did this in less than a month in a bipartisan manner, if you had told me that was possible in the United State Congress today, I would have told you, you were crazy, but we were able to do that [the CARES Act, which among other things, produced the PPP loans].

And, he had a stern warning for anyone “trying to game the system. I hope they go after that person in a huge way, lock ‘em up, throw away the damn key, because this is serious stuff for our small businesses and the families they support.”

Answers to questions put to Congressman Schrader included:

  • IRS ruling on deductibility
  • Generous unemployment benefits. “We have a robust program, maybe a too robust unemployment [insurance] program here that is keeping folks from coming back to work.”
  • Legal liability protection.

Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB senior director of government relations, Anthony Smith, NFIB’s Oregon state director, and Stacy Jenkins, NFIB’s grassroots manager for the state, all thanked Congressman Schrader for his support of small business.

Click the arrow below to listen to the 39-minute conference call with the congressman.

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