The Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC), an independent, permanent coalition of national trade and professional associations—including PPAI—representing small businesses in federal legislative and regulatory issues, has sent a letter to the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, as well as members of key committees, to convey its small-business-focused proposals for the latest COVID-19 relief package.

“The SBLC’s letter and its recommendations embody the voice of the small-business community,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO, and current chair of the SBLC. “Drawn from a survey of the more than 40 trade associations that make up the SBLC and represent over 50,000 businesses across all sectors of the economy, the proposals sent to Congress chart a way forward that offers reasonable and productive measures to assist small businesses. They include straight-forward, common sense steps to assist businesses that deal with many of the issues the pandemic and the resulting slowdown in the economy have created, and smooth out the regulatory landscape to foster business success going forward.”

The proposals the SBLC put forth in its letter to Congress touch on several areas impacting small businesses in the current climate. The letter calls for liability shields for re-opening businesses that comply with CDC, OSHA and/or local requirements to prevent against COVID-19-related lawsuits from employees, customers, clients or patients.

In its letter, the SBLC also pushes for the expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program to include small 501(c)(6) organizations, the restoration of business deductions eliminated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, tax incentives for small businesses to offset the cost of deep cleaning their facilities and providing PPE to their employees, and an increase in infrastructure spending to jumpstart the economy and create job opportunities. In addition, it calls on Congress to revise various aspects of the tax code and other regulations to simplify small businesses’ operations and keep more money in their pockets.