State Director Update on Pennsylvania Small Business Issues

Date: June 16, 2020

Legislative news and liability concerns

Dear Pennsylvania Members,

As we roll into summer, NFIB’s small business owners continue to navigate through government mandates and the public realities of COVID-19.  Impacts to our members are clearly sector-specific, with some types of small businesses struggling and others maintaining their sales volumes or even growing a bit.  Here is the latest on assistance and key legislation in Pennsylvania. 

Last week, Governor Wolf announced a $225 million small business grant program that will be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development in partnership with a list of local Community Development Financial Institutions or CDFIs.  The funds, which are coming to Pennsylvania as part of the CARES Act funds, are targeted to truly small businesses that have 25 or fewer employees and annual revenue of $1 million or less. Grants are expected to range from $5,000 to $50,000 for businesses which are based in Pennsylvania and which are current on all taxes through 2018. For details, CLICK HERE and for Program guidelines CLICK HERE.

In Harrisburg, your NFIB team is laser-focused on getting legal liability protections enacted into law.  Small business owners who take the right steps on providing protections for employees and customers in good faith should be protected from frivolous lawsuits should someone tragically contract COVID-19.  Sadly, the trial bar is fully engaged in filing suits here in PA and across the nation.  Whether relief comes from the federal government or our state government, NFIB members need and deserve liability relief.  Your team in both DC and Harrisburg are pushing hard. 

And on reopening the small business economy and preventing a repeat economic catastrophe, we are engaged with efforts to place limits on the power of Governor Wolf and all future governors, to act unilaterally over an extended period should another statewide emergency arises.  A concurrent resolution that would immediately terminate Governor Wolf’s Disaster Declaration and bring the General Assembly into the decision-making process has passed the state House and Senate and is now being reviewed by the State Supreme Court. Also being considered in the state Senate is a constitutional amendment that would limit the Governor’s disaster declaration to thirty days, and would need a vote of the General Assembly to extend the declaration for each 30 days thereafter.  NFIB has strongly communicated our support for these needed changes.  

Friends, these are challenging days for our small business community. On the good side, we are seeing more and more small business owners realizing the importance of banding together so our voice is strong! Your NFIB membership is an investment in your business success, helping to empower NFIB’s state and federal teams, because lawmakers listen when we represent so many small business owners. Thanks to you, when NFIB speaks out on issues, elected officials eagerly respond. 

Gordon Denlinger
Pennsylvania State Director

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