Norm Needleman

STATE SENATOR

Norm Needleman

DEPUTY PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

COMMON-SENSE SOLUTIONS

February 11, 2021

Sen. Needleman Introduces Legislation, Hears Testimony on Small Business COVID-19 Relief


Today, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) introduced legislation to the Commerce Committee discussed during a public hearing that would provide financial relief to small businesses dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation in question would protect businesses’ unemployment insurance payments, exempt them from sales tax on key purchases and ensure their best interests are considered in development of future regulations.

“We all know the hardest-hit of all during the pandemic are small businesses,” Sen. Needleman said. “Too many have suffered extreme financial burdens, and many have closed. We owe it to the men and women who put their lives into their work to protect them, and their investments and livelihoods, from any further damage. These common-sense steps will prevent surprise costs and put money back into businesses, allowing them to better survive until this pandemic ends.”

Senate Bill 711, “An Act Concerning COVID-19 Relief For Small Businesses,” was introduced by a coalition of Democratic State Senators including Sen. Needleman. If voted into law, it would have three important benefits for small businesses:

  • Small businesses with less than 100 employees cannot have unemployment insurance premiums increased due to increased claims due to COVID-19 and insurers cannot use increased claims due to COVID-19 when calculating businesses’ losses compared to competitors.
  • Small businesses would be exempt from sales tax when purchasing personal protective equipment to protect employees.
  • Agencies reviewing or potentially changing regulations must develop an economic impact statement and an assessment seeing how those regulations would impact small businesses before they are potentially introduced.