Message from the President & CEO
In early April, CalChamber Grassroots Coordinator Natalie Leighton sent an urgent email to the 50 or so politically active Chambers in the state to oppose AB 2843 from Assemblyman Chu's office. AB 2843 would levy a head tax on businesses- $150 per employee- in order to provide funding for Affordable Housing Assistance Fund. This fund, mind you, is also used to provide vouchers for homeless to cover rent in affordable housing developments.
When we read AB 2843, we signed onto the opposition immediately, as did nearly every Chamber and business in CalChamber's grassroots political network, as it is another strike against business owners. We also found it to be abhorrent for this bill to even be considered during the current state of affairs. How could businesses afford to pay yet another tax when they are closed or experiencing financial strife due to COVID-19? Why did it take business-rights interested groups- like CalChamber and Chambers of Commerces across the state- to say "this is unacceptable during this climate" for the author to pull the bill? We have been in shelter in place for nearly 8 weeks, and even though the bill was introduced at the end of February, once the state mandated closures of businesses, this bill should have been off the table. Instead, it "only" took 4 days from the initial email calling for Chamber's to oppose for the author- Assemblyman Chu- to pull the bill from consideration. One small victory in these uncertain times.
This week, the U.S. Small Business Administration re-opened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to small business owners in need of funding to keep their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. A few weeks ago, we released a flyer on the differences between the PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (which are currently not accepting applications). You can find that flyer here and for more information on how to apply for PPP, click here.
We also ask that everyone STAY TUNED this Saturday for an exciting announcement. It will be in the Lodi News Sentinel, here on our blog, and our social media platforms. You don't want to miss it!
Hope you are all staying safe and continuing sheltering in place- as we are! Here's to a light at the end of the tunnel to get people back to work. Until next week, Pat Patrick.