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U.S. Chamber highlights pandemic relief, bipartisanship


Experts from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce updated Springfield Chamber members on COVID-19 federal relief efforts during a virtual event on February 3.

Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy, gave insight into recent changes to several pandemic-related business assistance programs, enacted through the most recent COVID-relief package signed into law at the end of 2020. Programs like Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) saw increased funding and changes aimed at enhancing the benefits of this aid for businesses.

Sullivan emphasized that the ERTC has been one of the most under-utilized pandemic relief options. He cited a recent survey of small businesses by the U.S. Census Bureau; it found that roughly 75 percent of business owners knew about the PPP, but about 0.5% knew the details of the ERTC program.

"Not enough small business owners have asked their CPA or whoever prepares their taxes about this provision," he said.

One reason may be that, previously, businesses were ineligible to receive both the ERTC and PPP loan. However, having a PPP loan is no longer a disqualifier to receive this tax credit, and businesses are encouraged to apply for the ERTC.

Ron Eidshaug, vice president of the congressional and public affairs division, highlighted the current federal landscape. He said Congressional and White House leaders have a revitalized focus on bipartisanship unity to get legislation passed, and a needed focus on common-sense proposal.

"The business community wins when we have center-out proposals," Eidshaug explained.

If you missed this virtual event, or if you want to go back to watch it again, click the video below!

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