Virginia Gov. Northam Proposes $862 Million of American Rescue Plan Act Funds to Partially Refill Unemployment Trust Fund

As part of his “Investment Week” announcing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation proposals, Governor Ralph Northam announced $862 million for Virginia’s unemployment insurance trust fund, depleted during COVID-19.

“Shoring up the Commonwealth’s unemployment insurance trust fund is a smart investment that will prevent Virginia businesses from paying higher taxes and allow our economy to continue surging,” Northam said in a Tuesday announcement.

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Virginia NFIB Director Calls for Back-To-Work Bonuses

Worker in restaurant kitchen

A May survey from the NFIB found that nationally, seasonally-adjusted 48 percent of small businesses reported unfilled job openings for the fourth consecutive month.

“Virginia small businesses are having a historically hard time hiring workers and getting back to pre-COVID levels,” NFIB Virginia State Director Nicole Riley said in a press release.

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Norment, Saslaw Discuss If Virginia Will Remain Business-Friendly in the Future

In a post-session virtual luncheon hosted by Wason Center Academic Director Quentin Kidd, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment (R-James City) expressed alarm at erosion of Virginia’s business-friendly status while Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said moderate pro-business senators were helping protect Virginia’s business environment — for now.

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Virginia NFIB: Business Is Improving, but Employers Are Having Trouble Filling Positions

As the country emerges from COVID-19 restrictions, small businesses are doing better, according to a March report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). However, uncertainty about the next few months for business owners is still high, and businesses are having trouble finding qualified workers to fill positions.

“Virginia’s small businesses are working hard on their recovery but are struggling to find the right workers to fill open positions,” NFIB Virginia State Director Nicole Riley said in a Wednesday press release

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Virginia Business Community Praises COVID-19 Stimulus, but Seeks State Action for Full Benefits

Virginia business advocates praised the COVID-19 stimulus package passed by Congress but said additional state action is necessary for businesses to receive the full benefits of the legislation.

The $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus provides about $325 billion in aid to small businesses nationally, including $284 billion for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, $20 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants, $15 billion for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions and another $12 billion for businesses in low-income and minority communities.

Congress’ bill also addressed a couple of concerns businesses raised regarding the first wave of PPP loans. The bill simplifies the forgiveness applications and makes the loans tax deductible at the federal level. The deductibility applies to loans that already have been received and any loans received in the second wave, which would prevent a hidden tax increase on businesses.

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Blackburn, Bredesen Reveal Stark Differences on Judges, Obamacare at NFIB Forum

Phil Bredesen, Marsha Blackburn

NASHVILLE, Tennessee–Tennessee U.S. Senate Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) said, if elected, she’ll vote to appoint federal judges based on whether they abide by what’s in the U.S. Constitution. Her opponent, Democrat Phil Bredesen, said voting to appoint a judge really boils down to his or her qualifications and temperament.…

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Tennessee Adds 45,000 Jobs Over Past Year

Handshake deal

Tennessee’s unemployment rates remain low and the state added 45,000 jobs the past year, the National Federation of Independent Business said. According to the March 2018 numbers from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, 82 of the state’s 95 counties saw lower unemployment rates that month than they…

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NFIB Grades 110th Tennessee General Assembly from the Small Business Perspective

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) rated the 110th Tennessee General Assembly on Wednesday, just  few days after Tennessee’s legislative body adjourned for the year. “The Tennessee Legislature is now adjourned, but NFIB/TN worked hard to protect the state’s small business owners right until the end. In late April,…

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