From the beginning, I have been working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address the health crisis and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus crisis has ravaged our communities in Southwest Michigan and around the world. Loved ones have passed away. Millions have lost jobs. And our economy will need help restarting.
THE CARES ACT
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed and the President signed the CARES Act, bipartisan legislation that provided relief to workers and small businesses. The CARES Act included:
SECURING PPE FOR OUR FRONT-LINE WORKERS
Getting PPE to our front-line workers was a top priority for me. We worked with several private companies to get tens of thousands of masks donated to our large hospitals. We also worked with Western Michigan University to get them FDA schematics to 3D print masks. We partnered with different private companies on making hand sanitizer. And, throughout the crisis, my staff and I were on numerous calls with members of the Michigan delegation, the governor, and members of the Administration to help get more federal allocations of PPE and testing to the state.
THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
The Paycheck Protection Program is a solemn promise to our community’s small businesses. The program provides loans to small businesses that would be forgiven if the funding was used on payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities.
I helped lead the call for additional, continuous funding for this program. It is critical to helping small businesses stay afloat and keeping employees on payroll. My office and I worked hand in glove with lenders and small businesses.
My staff in D.C. and here in Southwest Michigan worked closely with constituents to help them navigate the federal government during the coronavirus crisis. We helped residents return home, get them off cruise ships, and get information about their stimulus checks. We put together a resource website and a Southwest Michigan Resource Guide to help answer the most common questions folks had.