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Springfield Chamber Legislative Update May 19th

While information surrounding COVID-19 is constantly changing, the Chamber is continually monitoring local, state and federal efforts as we move into the recovery phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

Federal Policy Update

 

Paycheck Protection Program guidance
The Small Business Administration has released long-awaited guidance on the loan forgiveness portion of the Paycheck Protection Program. The application must be submitted to your lender, and we encourage contacting your loan servicer for further instruction.Click here to view the PPP loan forgiveness application.

Dept. of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon announced last week, as of May 1, 78,733 businesses in Missouri have received a total of $9.24 billion in PPP loans.

House passes $3T phase of relief, Senate unlikely to take up proposal
The U.S. House narrowly passed a $3 trillion proposal on Friday to provide more funding to state and local governments and aid for individuals and families, however the Senate is currently unwilling to take up this proposal.

This large package of proposals includes another round of direct stimulus payments to individuals and extends the end date of pandemic related unemployment benefits from July to January 2021. It also increases funding for small business loans and further boosts the employee-retention tax credit program, among multiple other provisions.

Even with pushback from multiple directions, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sees the initial passage of this package as a starting point for conversations on what this next phase of relief could include.

Senate Republicans hope to focus a next phase of relief on business liability protections as businesses across the country begin to reopen.

As discussions unfold, the Chamber will continue to work with our federal legislators and our partners at the U.S. Chamber to express the need for policies that are fair to workers, but that importantly encourage employees to return to the workforce just as soon as jobs are available.

Unemployment claims
Roughly 3 million new unemployment claims were filed nationwide last week due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Over 36 million people have filed for unemployment benefits since the onset of the pandemic, approximately two months ago.

The Missouri Dept. of Labor issued new unemployment numbers on Friday which show a large decrease in initial claim filings.

For the week ending May 9, 30,702 initial claims were filed,  a decrease of 41 percent compared to the previous week. Of these claims, a little over 25,000 were self-reported as coronavirus related.

For the same reported week, over 263,000 Missourians filed weekly requests, up 7.7 percent from the previous week, equating to almost $76 million in regular unemployment benefits being paid for the week ending May 9, 2020. Over $800 million has been paid through federal unemployment assistance, which does not decrease the State’s UI Trust Fund.

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