Open California

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Marie Waldron
Marie Waldron. Valley News/Courtesy photo

We all miss going out to eat, seeing our family dentist and sporting events. Small businesses have taken a huge hit, and we must ensure they recover. The governor just released Phase 2 reopening, based on successes with social distancing and smoothing the curve.

California’s economy should reopen quickly. By using social distancing and other protections, most businesses can reopen while keeping customers safe. As a member of the Joint Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, I’ll be working on initiatives to help restore California’s economy. First of all, the state should Improve its small business loan program to provide forgivable loans to businesses that cover payroll, rent, health insurance premiums and other costs. Secondly, we need to provide unemployment insurance relief for small businesses. The huge spike in unemployment insurance applications will also increase these taxes paid by businesses. California businesses have already lost billions – they shouldn’t be penalized because the government ordered them to shut down and lay off workers.

Many businesses took advantage of federal Paycheck Protection Program loans, which provide forgivable loans to small businesses under certain conditions. Under federal law, the loans are not taxable, but under California law, they are. Those loans should be exempt from state income taxes.

We also need to take action to suspend enforcement of new rules and regulations if they are unrelated to COVID-19 and don’t impact health and safety. Other initiatives would shield businesses from lawsuits over COVID-19 exposure, including essential businesses that remained open, along with removing hiring barriers by suspending Assembly Bill 5.

This unprecedented emergency will have long lasting repercussions. But now it’s time to focus on recovery. If you’d like to share your thoughts about the pandemic, please visit my website to take a short survey at http://www.ad75.asmrc.org.

Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.