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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 27, 2020 12:31 PM
From: Representative Todd Stephens
To: All House members
Subject: Small Business Employee Retention Assistance

As you all know, the economic impacts from the outbreak of the novel COVID-19 virus have placed a tremendous burden on Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvania small businesses throughout the Commonwealth. In recent days, we have seen a significant rise in claims filed for Unemployment Compensation, as hardworking Pennsylvanians are unable to maintain their employment due to business closures required by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are these layoffs devastating for our families, but the impact also has severe implications for our small business community as well. Unfortunately, many will never be able to recapture the significant revenue loss already incurred due to the required statewide shutdown.  My fear is that inaction now may result in businesses being unable to re-open their doors and thus leave their workers struggling to find new jobs. I believe its imperative that we step in to provide the necessary support to help them retain their employees and I am confident that if we help these businesses weather this storm now, once the crisis abates, they will be able to resume their operations with a dedicated workforce ready to help push Pennsylvania’s economy forward. 
As such, I will be introducing legislation to establish a program that will provide much needed assistance for our small businesses to retain their employees through the mandated business shutdown. Specifically, my legislation will allow small businesses to apply for financial assistance to help them meet payroll for the period of the shutdown, provided they do not reduce or layoff their employees. I believe this program, in addition to other Federal and state programs put in place in recent weeks to combat COVID-19, is essential to helping our skilled workforce maintain their place of employment as well as ensuring our small businesses will be able to continue providing for our local communities.
Now is the time for us to help our local communities and our local small businesses. I respectfully ask for your consideration to join my effort to co-sponsor this important legislation.