Republican Governors Are Backing America’s Small Businesses And Workers Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Republican governors have implemented policies and secured funding to help ease the burden on struggling small businesses and individuals in search of work.

Ensuring the safety and security of all Americans is the paramount objective of Republican governors amid the coronavirus pandemic. Republican governors across the country continue to take decisive actions to promote public health while simultaneously executing plans to ease the fiscal burden on employers and workers who have been adversely impacted by the virus.

Republican governors have implemented policies and secured funding to help ease the burden on struggling small businesses and individuals in search of work. By launching economic task forces to determine best practices to “weather the storm,” waiving or deferring certain regulations and fees, and offering financial relief to businesses and workers, Republican governors are doing their part to ensure that when the time comes, job creators are in a strong position to lead America’s economic rebound.

ALABAMA:

  • “Gov. Kay Ivey announced the launch of ‘ALtogether Alabama,’ an online resource that will serve as a hub of information for the state’s response to the novel coronavirus crisis. The site becomes the state’s official guide to COVID-19 relief efforts, to help empower those impacted by the outbreak and those who want to offer support…Individuals and business owners can seek help and identify state and federal resources that can provide a lifeline in the form of low-interest loans and financial assistance.” (WIAT)

ALASKA:

  • “Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Tuesday that his office has created an ‘economic stabilization team,’ which will develop a plan to help the state’s economy weather the impacts of the coronavirus. The group will be bipartisan, lead by former Gov. Sean Parnell, a Republican, and former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat…The team will work with the governor and the Alaska Unified Command Structure to help guide the response to the pandemic, provide regular updates to legislative leaders and work with the congressional delegation, state and local governments, and businesses.” (Alaska Public Media)

ARKANSAS:

  • “Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday at least $16 million is being directed to help Arkansas businesses remain open during the economic challenges resulting from COVID-19… A big part of that is $12 million allocated from Community Development Block Grant funds to help companies, especially ‘hospitals and businesses essential to getting over this crisis.’… Another element is releasing $4 million from the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund – created to provide cash incentives for businesses expanding or locating operations in Arkansas – to support ‘bridge loans’ to small businesses that need help making payroll and pay other essential costs. The loans can be up to $250,000.” (Talk Business & Politics)

FLORIDA:

  • “An Executive Order from Gov. Ron DeSantis ensures that whatever money a business secures from the feds, the state government will not take any of it. Executive Order 20-95, backdated to Apr. 3, directed the Department of Revenue to suspend taxation on those moneys. The order notes that ‘many Florida businesses have been negatively impacted by the spread of COVID-19 and the precautionary measures taken by the nation in response to COVID-19,’ and goes on to describe the federal ‘Paycheck Protection Program providing loans to small businesses in furtherance of keeping American workers paid and employed.’” (Fla Pol)

GEORGIA:

  • “Georgia’s 1 million food stamp recipients will get additional money this month as state officials work to ensure all have access to food during the growing coronavirus pandemic… Under the guidelines announced by Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday, a senior citizen who typically receives about $15 in monthly benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, will qualify for the maximum $194 allowed to be given to a household of one.” (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

IDAHO:

  • “Gov. Brad Little on Monday extended the deadline for Idahoans to file their state income tax returns and to apply for property-tax relief. The deadline is now June 15, two months past the normal April 15 deadline. Tax returns filed by June 15 will have no interest or penalty charged.” (Idaho Statesman)

INDIANA:

  • “…Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a number of policies aimed at mitigating some of the financial and economic harm those steps could cause…These include prohibiting evictions or foreclosures during the public health emergency; extending deadlines to file and pay state income taxes; and interpreting unemployment law broadly to cover those out of work because of the pandemic.” (Indianapolis Star)

IOWA:

  • Small businesses can apply for up to $25,000 in state grants to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday at a news conference…Businesses with between 2 and 25 employees prior to March 17 can apply for the grant. Those who receive the grant will automatically be granted a sales and withholding tax extension; businesses that don’t receive the grant can also apply for that. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees can also ask for a delay in their unemployment tax payment until July 31.” (Des Moines Register)

MARYLAND:

  • “A state program of more than $175 million will provide businesses with grants, loans and other relief to help pay workers, suppliers, landlords and other expenses during the coronavirus pandemic… The relief is targeted to small businesses, which often have more difficulty absorbing sudden revenue losses than larger companies.” (The Baltimore Sun)

MASSACHUSETTS:

  • “Massachusetts will launch a $10 million fund that will offer loans to small businesses affected by the fallout of the coronavirus, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday afternoon. The loan fund would offer eligible small businesses up to $75,000 with no payments for the first six months.” (Mass Live)

MISSISSIPPI:

  • “Governor Tate Reeves announced his plans to assist small business owners and unemployed workers in Mississippi during the coronavirus pandemic… Reeves also announced that he will be signing an executive order to provide unemployment benefits to help all Mississippi workers and their families. He stated that the executive order will waive the one week waiting period to receive benefits for all claims between March 8 and June 27. It will also suspend all work search requirements that are normally required to receive unemployment benefits.” (WLBT)

MISSOURI:

  • “Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday signed a supplemental budget bill allocating nearly $6 billion in federal stimulus money to fight the health and economic ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic… ‘COVID-19 has had an overwhelming impact on our economy and many local governments, health care providers, education institutions, businesses and other groups will rely on this funding,’ said Parson.” (Associated Press)

NEBRASKA:

  • “Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is urging residents to support their local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. During a press conference Monday afternoon, Ricketts signed a proclamation declaring the next four Tuesdays in April to be ‘Take Out Tuesday.’ Ricketts says the restaurant industry has been extremely impacted by the coronavirus crisis.” (KMALand)

NEW HAMPSHIRE:

  • “Sununu announced an increase in the minimum unemployment benefits from $32 per week to $168 per week. Plus, an additional $600 per week will be given to unemployed workers through federal funds. The governor also said that the duration of state unemployment benefits will be extended by 13 weeks to a total of 39 weeks… In addition, the state is moving the business tax payment deadlines for the majority of New Hampshire small businesses to June 15. The due date for interest and dividends payments was also moved to June 15.” (WMUR)

NORTH DAKOTA:

  • “Under Burgum’s executive order, a bevy of rules for unemployment insurance have been suspended as long as a worker’s layoff is related, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus. The rules are suspended until the order has been rescinded. On the employer’s side, unemployment benefits paid to a worker will no longer be charged to the worker’s company. Strict compliance with rules involving income reduction for businesses used to determine a worker’s benefit also has been suspended. Regarding employees, requirements about registering for work and actively searching for employment have been suspended.” (Grand Forks Herald)

OHIO:

  • “Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the creation of an economic advisory board. ‘Just as we have looked to [medical] experts to help us through this crisis, we’re also looking to [economy] experts as we move forward,’ Gov. DeWine said. ‘As we come out of this, we will focus on our economic recovery.’ Governor DeWine added he is doing this so that Ohio can take advantage of the opportunity to move forward once the peak of COVID-19 passes.” (WCMH)

OKLAHOMA:

  • “As COVID-19 slows down the state’s economy, the state will defer some tax bills that are due April 15. The Oklahoma Tax Commission order will let individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of state income tax, including self-employment tax payments, by three months. State corporate income tax filers can defer up to $10 million in payments until July 15, as well. Doing so will not incur penalties or interest, said Gov. Kevin Stitt.” (The Oklahoman)

SOUTH CAROLINA:

  • “People who work as barbers, cosmetologists, contractors and dentists, among other professions, who have to renew their licenses have a few more months do so, the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation announced. People who have professional and occupational licenses, registrations and permits were scheduled to renew between April and August now have a new deadline of Sept. 30.” (The State)

SOUTH DAKOTA:

  • “Gov. Noem says the measures have been helping and health officials are already seeing the curve flatten in South Dakota, but that also means the peak number of cases will be pushed out, possibly into the summer months… Businesses in South Dakota are able to apply for loans to help them get through this situation thanks to legislation passed in recent weeks that allows $10.5 million for locally-owned businesses in the state.” (Siouxland News)

TENNESSEE:

  • “In the midst of growing fears of a massive economic downturn, Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday announced a series of relief opportunities for Tennesseans, including increased cash benefits for low-income families, relaxing requirements to collect unemployment checks and grants for local governments… The state TANF program will begin issuing payments of up to $1,000 a month for a qualifying family of five that has lost employment as a result of economic disruption due to the coronavirus, as well as ‘lessening the restrictions around TANF,’ Lee said.” (Tennessean)

TEXAS:

  • “Small businesses battered by the novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping through Texas can apply for long-term, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan is available for small businesses to apply. Questions of eligibility, and how to apply, can be answered on the agency website.” (The Texas Tribune)

UTAH:

  • “A panel hand-picked by Gov. Gary Herbert is putting a plan into action in hopes of prolonging the survival of local enterprises hit hard by the economic fallout of social distancing and Utah’s ‘stay home, stay safe’ directive. The Economic Response Task Force was created to help businesses to remain economically engaged while supporting the state’s urgent response efforts to the coronavirus, Herbert said… Herbert announced the Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan program to help Utah’s for-profit businesses with 50 or fewer employees obtain up to five-year, zero interest loans from $5,000 to $20,000.” (Deseret News)

VERMONT:

  • “Gov. Phil Scott also announced several emergency actions to help residents of his state get through the pandemic… Utility companies will not be able to disconnect services for a customer’s nonpayment, and the department of motor vehicles has been moved to online, phone-in and mail service only. And all expired driver’s licenses and car registrations will be granted a 90-day extension, Scott said.” (NECN)

WEST VIRGINIA:

  • “With thousands of claims for unemployment compensation pouring in, the state of West Virginia is processing applications and getting funds out as quickly as possible, according to the governor… West Virginia University also is using its call center to help process claims and the West Virginia National Guard has supplied manpower to WorkForce West Virginia to clear the backlog.” (The Parkersburg News & Sentinel)

WYOMING:

  • “Gov. Mark Gordon announced the creation of five task forces designed to tackle the effects of the spreading coronavirus in a press conference in which he chastised Wyomingites who rushed to hoard supplies in recent days… Gordon said the business task force will focus on ‘banking resiliency’ and the state’s small businesses, which he called the life blood of the economy here.” (Casper Star Tribune)