By now, we’ve all become familiar with the term social distancing. I know many of you are sitting at home scared and frustrated, as restaurants, gyms and other businesses came grinding to a halt last week due to coronavirus. I share your concerns. That’s why I’m working every day listening to folks on the ground and finalizing legislation to boost our response efforts. Thankfully, there is good news. While coronavirus continues to impact our state and country, the U.S. Small Business Administration delivered some needed relief to small businesses last week by approving a disaster declaration for North Carolina.
This declaration means small businesses in every county in our state may now apply for low-interest economic injury disaster loans (EIDLs) as a result of the ongoing effects of COVID-19 (coronavirus). To apply, you can visit my website at Hudson.house.gov or Disasterloan.sba.gov.
In addition to my office, the N.C. Small Business & Technology Development Center can help small businesses through this process free of charge. The closest physical locations to our district are on the campuses of Fayetteville State University and UNC Charlotte. However, staff is available to assist over the phone at 919-715-7272.
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and I’ll continue to fight to make sure they, and all workers, have the assistance they need.
That’s why I joined with Senator Thom Tillis and Representative David Price on a bipartisan effort to urge swift approval of Governor Cooper’s request for this declaration. I also led a bipartisan effort with Representative G.K. Butterfield to request more aid for small businesses struggling with cash flow while they must pay bills, payroll and other expenses.
In addition to our small businesses, I’ve been leading efforts to ensure our agriculture industry has access to the temporary workforce it needs to protect our domestic food supply, as well as to increase funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to handle an influx of patients and strain due to coronavirus. I am happy to report the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that became law last week included $82 million for the Department of Defense and $60 million for the VA to cover the costs of testing for veterans. Following my request for increased funding, I was glad to see President Trump’s latest coronavirus aid proposal includes an additional $8 billion for the Department of Defense.
As we now continue negotiations on a third coronavirus bill, I’ll continue advocating for any and all resources that our health care providers, workers, small businesses, farmers and schools need at this time. My priorities have been shaped directly from feedback from people on the ground. Just last week, I led calls with school superintendents in our region, VA medical center directors in Fayetteville and Salisbury, and small business owners. As always, my offices are also open to take phone calls and emails and hear directly from you about any questions you might have.
As I remain focused on legislation in Congress to address this unprecedented public health challenge, President Trump has also taken action to move the tax filing deadline to July 15, suspend student loan payments, give states flexibility on K-12 testing and remove red tape for the FDA to approve new treatments for coronavirus. By working together across local, state and federal governments, I am confident we can overcome this challenge and come out stronger than ever. Please stay tuned for rapidly changing updates and guidelines and never hesitate to let me know anything I can do to serve you and your family.
- Written by Rep. Richard Hudson