State Sen. Diana DiZoglio wants the state to help small businesses that were ineligible for the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program.
Her bill, “An Act establishing a Massachusetts Paycheck Protection Program” would create an emergency loan program to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll or rehire them. Like its federal counterpart, the loans would be converted to grants. The federal program used the Small Business Administration’s platform, enabling banks, credit unions and local lenders to issue the loans.
“I ultimately filed this bill as a last resort for the many businesses who remain closed and entirely ineligible for any type of loan or grant assistance from the federal government,” DiZoglio said, explaining, “These are local families who pay taxes and employ our neighbors. They’re going under and we need to do all we can to keep them afloat.”
She said the bill was voted favorably out of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses and advanced to the Senate for consideration.
She also said her earlier bill, “An Act to support MassMakers,” could keep more business ion Massachusetts as residents are increasing online purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also favorably voted out of committee and establishes a Massachusetts Main Streets Office, described as “a MassMakers web portal to assist aspiring start-ups and scale-ups, microbusinesses, and the empowerment of the state’s Supplier Diversity Office.” It has been endorsed by the Retailers Association of Massachusetts and the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, as well as several local Chambers of Commerce.
DiZoglio explained, “Many of these online sales, however, are sending our Massachusetts purchasing dollars to out-of-state companies who happen to be established or connected enough to have access to advertising and the ability for online sales. During a time when much of our small business community is literally prohibited from making in-person sales, retail giants like Walmart continue to be able to make both in-person and online sales.”