In a letter sent to Governor Doug Ducey, we have recommended several pieces of policy that would provide immediate business relief.
Below is an outline of the recommendations:
1. Financial Relief and Employee Protection: The relief provided to small businesses through the SBA from the Congressional CARES package will come too late for our businesses. And as an industry that’s been directed to shut down or limit our activity, most of us are unable to even qualify for these loans. How can we pay our employees when we can’t even open our doors? While we explore opportunities with credit unions and other local financiers on terms of credit, Arizona needs to provide small businesses with up to six-months of operational expense relief through loan forgiveness and/or no-interest capital immediately. This financial support will ensure we can continue to support and pay our employees through this crisis, and the $50 million appropriated in the budget is tailor-made for this kind of effort. This can, and should, take the form of a suspension of late payments or interest due and the possibility of payment plans later.
2. Eviction Protection: Enact a six (6) month moratorium on any and all rent requirements under commercial leasing agreements for small locally owned businesses and for any small locally owned businesses that are forced to cease operations due to the local, state or federally enacted restrictions or declared state of emergency, enact a moratorium of six (6) months on any and all requirements due from lease, vendor or credit agreements.
3. Utility Protection: Suspend any and all utility shut-offs, and ideally waive payments, for small locally owned businesses for a minimum of six (6) months or until the Federal government lifts the declared “State of Emergency.”
4. Closure Protection: If businesses are forced to close, halt all lease, vendor and credit agreements and stop credit reporting.
5. Protect Revenue: Immediately enact a six (6) month moratorium or forgiveness on all payroll and sales taxes for small, family-owned businesses, retroactive to the Governor’s emergency declaration. Many other states have pursued this, and you can find examples here.