Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Marco Rubio held a press conference today to unveil a bill that would help prevent Americans from losing their jobs and keep small businesses from going under as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.
The legislation is a $300 billion small business emergency economic relief plan that will help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic make payroll and cover expenses.
“Every day, I am hearing from small businesses in my state that are on the verge of going under as a consequence of the coronavirus. Our plan would help make sure that businesses that were thriving before the pandemic as well as their employees are able to make it through this crisis,” said Senator Collins. “In the last three days in the State of Maine, there were more claims for unemployment compensation than all of March last year. That shows that businesses are already feeling the cash-flow problems, seeing declining revenues, losing customers, and being forced to lay off their employees. That is why we feel so strongly that we must act and we must act immediately. I believe that we can come together to address this urgent problem.”
The Maine State Chamber of Commerce endorsed Senator Collins’ legislation.
“On behalf of Maine businesses, we encourage Congress and the President to act quickly on this proposal and others currently being developed to support our people and our economy. These are the types of actions and support that will reassure Maine businesses and their employees that we will get through this working together,” said Maine State Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors. “It is important all Maine employers know assistance and resources are coming together to help them weather this unprecedented pandemic. We are all in this together, we are stronger together, and the chamber of commerce community is committed to helping find ways to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, their employees and consumers, and Maine’s economy.”
Senator Collins also voted to advance a separate multi-billion dollar emergency aid package today that was first passed by the House and sent to the Senate on Tuesday. It includes provisions to pay for virus testing, bolster unemployment and food assistance, expand paid sick leave, and send additional aid to states. That bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.