Golden, Pingree Push for Policies to Protect Workers, Families, and Small Businesses in Emergency Coronavirus Bill

March 20, 2020
Press Release
Maine’s U.S. House delegation lays out key priorities to address coronavirus and economic fallout

WASHINGTON —Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01) today urged congressional leaders to include the Maine lawmakers’ recommendations to protect workers and their families in the upcoming emergency coronavirus legislation.

“As you work with Senate leadership and the President’s Administration on an economic relief package to address the effects of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), we write to lay out actions we believe Congress should take to best respond to the needs of American families, workers, and businesses impacted by the health and economic crisis facing our nation,” wrote Golden and Pingree. “These recommendations are informed by feedback we have sought from our constituents: individuals, small business owners, and community leaders across Maine.”

In their letter to House leaders, the Members of Congress note that the economic fallout from the coronavirus in Maine has already been substantial. Golden and Pingree suggested policies to prevent layoffs by aiding and rewarding small businesses who keep their employees on payroll, protect working families from the worst of the economic downturn, provide zero-interest loans, and set tough guidelines for any consideration of public funds to shore up private industries. 

“We must protect [workers’] incomes by protecting their jobs,” continued the lawmakers. “That is why we strongly encourage you to provide immediate zero interest, zero fee loans to small businesses and organizations impacted by COVID-19 with 10-year terms and repayment deferred for the first year, per the House Small Business Committee proposal, and with complete loan forgiveness for entities that use these loans to maintain payroll—following the model outlined in the Senate proposal—as America works to respond to and recover from this pandemic. You should also adopt the House Small Business Committee’s streamlining and deferment proposals for existing SBA loan programs and increase funding for SBA resource partners.”

Read a copy of Golden and Pingree’s letter here.

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