Senator Scott on Coronavirus Relief and Work Still To Do

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Friday, March 20th, 2020

U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) released the statement below regarding COVID-19 legislation passed by the U.S. Senate. Senator Scott remains in Washington to work on the next COVID-19 relief package, which will focus on ensuring American families, health care workers and small businesses have access to support during these challenging times.

“The COVID-19 package passed by the U.S. Senate today, while well-intentioned, could have disastrous effects for South Carolina’s small businesses and their employees. Over the past few days, I have talked with a wide variety of folks from across South Carolina, including small business owners from around the state, restaurant owners, and more. They have all shared their concerns with various pieces of this House bill, such as that it places mandates and burdens on our small businesses that they simply cannot afford. With the passage of this package it is clear Congress must immediately move to a third relief package that fixes the issues with the House bill and provides stronger, smarter relief to folks across the country. To that end, I have been deeply involved in discussions on the third package of relief we are currently working on in the Senate, and will remain in Washington, D.C. until that legislation is passed. It is absolutely critical that we provide families, workers, health care professionals and small businesses relief sooner rather than later.”

Senator Scott continued, “As the Senate continues this important work, I want to thank our doctors, nurses and health care workers across South Carolina and the nation for their tireless work. They are truly heroes, and we can all help them by continuing to follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and hygiene. I encourage anyone who has not yet read those guidelines to visit www.coronavirus.gov as soon as possible.”

"The provisions in the bill as it relates to paid leave place a mandate on small businesses without a corresponding immediate cash flow. We all agree that paid leave needs to play a significant role in relief packages, but to mandate paid leave, and then tell businesses they will get it back in a tax credit is not a good path for a couple reasons. First and foremost, these small businesses will still have to pay out, with no additional liquidity coming in. We heard that from across different groups in South Carolina, and take that concern very seriously. Second, small businesses are already in need of relief to stay afloat at all and make payroll for their workers. This bill does nothing to address the revenue shortfalls that they are beginning to experience, instead imposing a new administrative and financial burden on them, with back-end assurances. Creating a new obligation for struggling businesses and promising, through a complex system, to reimburse that new obligation on the back end creates yet another hurdle for businesses in desperate need of financial support...

"One of our goals in the next round of relief is to ensure immediate cash flow, instead of a tax credit with an unclear structure and timeline. As it stands, the House bill could accelerate layoffs and closings, which is the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve."