Michigan Representative Says It’s Time For Liability Protection For Small Business

Date: August 18, 2020

Rep. Walberg Supports PPP Loan Expense Tax Deductibility in Next Coronavirus Recovery Relief Bill

As part of NFIB’s Virtual Fly-In, Rep. Tim Walberg told small business owners that even though they didn’t bring it about, COVID-19 is here and it impacts are devastating.

Rep. Walberg said that while he’s normally adverse to the government getting involved and giving money to business, he said he quickly realized it was a necessity to mitigate the impact it was having on small business owners in Michigan. Walberg said in March, he started treating the pandemic like a war, which is why Congress picked 8 weeks, such a short duration, to use the Paycheck Protection Program funds. Now, he realizes the timeline will be much longer than that.

Rep. Walberg expressed frustration with many Governors across the country, and especially Michigan’s, who have stalled economies and hindered progress by shutting down small business. “I’m amazed that small businesses are still in business. I’m open to doing something further to help them, but there needs to be plenty of provisions and requirements, and I’d like to make it clear to the Governor the we aren’t going to continue to shut down the economy. We have to move forward and any money from Washington should be used only for coronavirus related issues,” said Walberg.

Rep. Walberg also voiced the need for liability reform, saying any further stimulus package should include protections for small business owners who are doing the best they can to protect their customers and employees from the virus. “The sky’s the limit on what you can make off this pandemic. If small business owners are not sure they’re not going to be sued for anything after having followed all the rules and guidance then they’re not going to have the safety and security to do what’s necessary to stay open and get Michigan’s economy back up and running.”

Rep. Walberg encouraged Michigan small business owners to contact their legislators about the issues they care about, even if their legislator has not been on the side of or friendly to small business issues in the past, telling Michigan small business owners that lawmakers need to hear from the people fighting in the trenches.

After hearing one Michigan small business owner’s fear that expenses for the Paycheck Protection Program loan will be subject to income tax, Rep. Walberg expressed his support to make sure that doesn’t happen. Walberg said he’s talked to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin about the issue and feels confident that the Secretary understands where small business is coming from.

“I told him that we ask these small business owners to trust us to not burden them in a financial situation where they have to repay or pay taxes with money they didn’t have but that we gave to them. We want small business owners to be able to use it. We want the economy to continue. In the end we’ll find a way for this not to come to fruition. Keep pushing back and keep contacting your legislators. If we in Washington are willing to put nearly $5 trillion to keep the economy going we ought to be willing to suck it up and make sure that revenue is allowed by small business owners to claw back.”

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