NFIB Joins Business Coalition Urging Governor to End Federal UI Benefits

Date: May 19, 2021

NFIB State Director Dawn Starns McVea said today the state’s leading small business advocacy organization has joined nine other business groups in signing a letter urging Gov. John Bel Edwards to stop accepting federal pandemic-related unemployment payments to encourage more people to reenter the workforce. 

“On behalf of the broad business coalition below, we are reaching out to express concerns from employers of all sizes and from all industries about the lack of available workers in the state,” the letter says. “As everyone looks to move past the COVID pandemic, many of us in the business community felt it was important to share what we believe would be a positive move to help the state.”

The letter says, “Our coalition would respectfully ask that the state end the additional UI federal benefits. We believe this additional benefit was an important short-term solution to help individuals who were adversely impacted at the start of the pandemic. However, 13 months later, many employers are finding it near impossible to fully staff their business which impacts the supply chain and timely delivery of goods and services. Additionally, we would advocate to redirect available federal dollars toward incentivizing return-to-work and/or retraining initiatives for Louisianans who may have lost their jobs during the pandemic but have struggled to re-enter the workforce.”

McVea said the National Federation of Independent Business joined the coalition in writing to Governor Edwards because many small businesses in the state have openings they can’t fill because there aren’t enough applicants.

“Only a few months ago, businesses were scaling back, reducing hours, and limiting services because of the COVID-19 restrictions,” she said. “Now, they’re doing it because they can’t find enough people to work.”

Here is the text of the coalition’s letter to Governor Edwards:

May 18, 2021 

Governor Edwards, 

On behalf of the broad business coalition below, we are reaching out to express concerns from employers of all sizes and from all industries about the lack of available workers in the state. As everyone looks to move past the COVID pandemic, many of us in the business community felt it was important to share what we believe would be a positive move to help the state. 

Some employers have temporary remote employees slowly phasing in the return of their workforce to the physical office. Other businesses were forced to operate at reduced capacity are now able to return to full capacity but for the lack of available workers. The state’s unemployment rate remains higher than it was pre-pandemic and initial jobless claims increased in the past week. 

Our coalition would respectfully ask that the state end the additional UI federal benefits. We believe this additional benefit was an important short-term solution to help individuals who were adversely impacted at the start of the pandemic. However, 13 months later, many employers are finding it near impossible to fully staff their business which impacts the supply chain and timely delivery of goods and services. Additionally, we would advocate to redirect available federal dollars toward incentivizing return-to-work and/or retraining initiatives for Louisianans who may have lost their jobs during the pandemic but have struggled to re-enter the workforce. 

We appreciate your consideration of these suggestions and the concerns of the Louisiana business community and would welcome any opportunity to visit further with you on this important issue. 

Thank you, 

Associated Builders and Contractors
Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
Louisiana Business Group on Health
Louisiana Homebuilders Association
Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association
Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenience Store Association
Louisiana Restaurant Association
Louisiana Retailers Association
Louisiana Motor Transport Association
National Federation of Independent Business 

Related Content: Small Business News | Louisiana

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