Virginia Small Business Owners Meet Virtually with Congressman Morgan Griffith

Date: August 19, 2020

NFIB’s Fly-In allows members around the country to speak directly with federal lawmakers

NFIB’s national Fly-In offers an opportunity for small business owners across America to express their concerns about legislation impacting their operations and to interact directly with their federal lawmakers. This year’s event did not take place in Washington, D.C. but virtually. In Virginia small businesses spoke directly with Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-09) on Tuesday.

Rep. Griffith kicked off the meeting by explaining he had been called to Washington this coming Saturday by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to address issues concerning the U.S. Postal Service. The Congressman expressed concern that there were many more important issues that the House needs to address as well, especially those tied to COVID-19.

NFIB’s State Director in Virginia, Nicole Riley, explained that a number of NFIB members have depleted their Paycheck Protection Program funds due to continuing virus-related economic factors and state limits on the operation of certain business types. She explained many small business owners will require additional funds to stay afloat. The Congressman said it is important to take a look at the possibility of additional funding, and also to focus attention on certain ailing industries. Riley also told Rep. Griffith that NFIB supports legislation to prevent the IRS from taxing PPP loan forgiveness dollars by not allowing deductions on that money. The IRS issued a guidance on that which was contradictory to the CARES Act.

A small business owner of a landscaping firm raised a concern on the call about her recent inability to hire workers, especially due to the competition created by the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which added $600 dollars to benefit checks. Those added benefits ended recently, but President Trump has taken executive action to add a $400 stimulus to benefit checks (with $100 of that coming from states) as negotiations on another Congressional relief package are stalled.

Rep. Griffith said he worries about added unemployment benefits creating a disincentive to work, making it hard to call back employees who have bene laid off, and making it hard for small business owners to fill vacancies.  

NFIB also brought the Congressman’s attention to a concern about a totally unrelated amendment that has been tacked on to the National Defense Authorization Act that negatively impacts small businesses. That amendment would pile huge paperwork burdens upon small businesses, making owners provide detailed personal and ownership information. That information would be easily accessible to multiple law enforcement agencies without a subpoena and put create a data security risk. The amendment would also subject business owners to steep fines and even jail time for non-compliance.

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