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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 18, 2020 01:39 PM
From: Senator Ryan P. Aument
To: All Senate members
Subject: Small Business Assistance Package
In the near future I will be introducing a package of bills intended to aid our struggling business community in the Commonwealth.
Over the last nine months, our restaurants, bars, and small businesses have done everything possible to keep their customers safe and doors open.  They have followed every suggestion and restriction imposed on them by the Wolf Administration.  Since Governor Wolf’s shutdown in the Spring, they have gone above and beyond to ensure proper sanitation and safety by installing plexiglass shields, providing masks, and thoroughly cleaning their establishments and products – all expenses that come out of their own pocket.    
Unfortunately, the recent shutdown orders from Governor Wolf continue to unfairly target those businesses despite the data showing the second wave of COVID-19 cases are due to small, private social gatherings.  While I fully understand the need to get the outbreak under control, limiting the ability for small businesses and their employees to survive financially - and in some cases, sending them into bankruptcy - without providing assistance from the same government that forced them to close in the first place is both wrong and immoral.
It is my intent to provide relief to these businesses through the following proposals.  Please join me in supporting the engine of our economy, our small businesses.

Document #1

Introduced as SB983

Description: This proposal would require the Pennsylvania Treasurer to offer no interest loans to businesses who have been shut down by Governor Wolf’s orders.  This temporary loan program would be funded through a long-term bond, of which rates are at record lows.  This loan program would be capped at $500 million and expire 180 days after the emergency declaration ends.

Document #2

Introduced as SB984

Description: During the past year, Governor Wolf’s shutdown orders created winners and losers within our economy.  Big box stores thrived while our small businesses were sidelined.  It has certainly been an unfair playing field for many. 
This proposal would create a temporary business improvement tax credit program that would be modeled off the highly successful Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.  Businesses who have done well during the pandemic could enter into the tax credit program to make a donation that would go directly to struggling small businesses.  In return, that business would receive a tax credit worth 50% of their donation from their state taxes.  This program will be capped at $500 million which would result in $1 billion in aid provided to our struggling restaurants, bars, and small businesses in the Commonwealth.  The program would expire after two years.

Document #3

Introduced as SB985

Description: This proposal would provide relief for small businesses through the form of Net Operating Loss (NOL).  This temporary change would allow normally profitable businesses that experience a pandemic-related loss in 2020 to offset earnings from prior years or future years against current year losses and get refunds for prior years (carryback) or cut future tax bills (carryforward).  The program would sunset in three years to allow time for struggling businesses to get back on their feet.

Document #4

Introduced as SB986

Description: This proposal would waive the state fees for retail food and liquor licenses for restaurants and bars that were forced to shut down during Governor Wolf’s emergency orders. 

Document #5

Introduced as SB987

Description: This proposal will allow businesses who were impacted by Governor Wolf’s shutdown order or his business restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic to deduct their property taxes from their state corporate net income (CNI) or personal income tax (PIT) liability.