Hassan introduces new legislation aimed at helping new small businesses

U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan. (screenshot)

WASHINGTON – Earlier this week, U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced a piece of legislation aiming to help small new businesses bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Recovery Startup Assistance Act, also known as S.551, aims to expand employee retention tax credit eligibility to include certain startup businesses. If passed, the new small businesses would receive a tailored version of the employee retention tax credit that gives advance payments for payroll and healthcare expenses.

The bill is part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the official name for the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill currently being discussed in the Senate.

If passed, one business that would stand to benefit is Diz’s Café on Elm Street in Manchester, which launched in 2020.

Diz’s Café Owner Judi Window originally planned to open in January 2020 which was then pushed back to April and then a partial opening in May.

“Thinking the summer or fall or winter would be better, it’s now March 2021 and now things are worse. We need help. We need support,” said Window. “We need people. Without being an income producing company in 2019, it has limited our application for funds. Yes, we have received a little funding, but we need more to make it through this next push towards “normal” life. We thank Senator Hassan and all of our NH officials who have been working diligently on behalf of NH’s small and new businesses.”

The proposed bill has received support from other local business across the state like Diz’s as well as organizations such as the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association and the Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

“Start-up businesses will be essential to our economic recovery and need access to federal support programs like those that have been available to established businesses since early on in the pandemic,” said Manchester Chamber of Commerce CEO Mike Skelton. “This new proposal expands federal support to new businesses in a meaningful way and we’re encouraged it’s attracting bipartisan support.”