Unemployment tweak could help companies rehire

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Last week, the CARES Act’s SBA-administered Paycheck Protection Program loans, at least temporarily, reached its funding limit. While Congress debates and considers its options regarding this program and other COVID-19 responses, states can and must step in to act in support of small businesses. They can do so by holding businesses harmless on their unemployment taxes for layoffs they likely would not have made otherwise.

Government measures taken to try and lower the rate of new infections are tough, but important. They have also had predictable and devastating economic consequences, including business closures and layoffs. As a result, millions of people have filed new unemployment claims in recent weeks.

While we work on solving the COVID-19 crisis, we must have a plan in place to kick-start the economy when the immediate danger abates. We must create an environment where people can get back to work, and businesses can rehire employees they likely did not want to let go in the first place.