Restarting Michigan • Covid-19 Relief & Recovery Agenda

Posted In: News, ,   By: Robert E Martin

05th May, 2020     0

The Saginaw, Bay & Midland County Chambers of Commerce & Business Alliance  are part of 30 local and regional chambers joining the Michigan Chamber of Commerceled COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Agenda to help get Michigan’s economy restarted. The agenda is based upon input from several thousand Chamber members located in all 83 counties and covering a wide range of industries and business sectors.

“Chamber members agree that public safety is paramount while we also focus on protecting our economic health. The policy recommendations contained in this agenda will assist businesses in their efforts to provide safe workplaces and spaces for their employees and customers and create more certainty and clarity to reenergize Michigan’s economy,” said Steve Mitchell, Chair of the Michigan Chamber’s board of directors.

“Michigan’s employers and employees are resilient and we cannot ignore the negative impact that Michigan’s response to COVID-19 is having on our economy. Some have already closed their doors for good and others are on the brink of losing everything,” said Rich Studley, President and CEO of the Michigan Chamber. “By implementing the policies outlined in the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Agenda, businesses will be able to get back on their feet with greater strength and return to work more quickly.” 

“From the US Chamber in Washington D.C. to the Michigan Chamber in Lansing and local Chambers in communities all across Michigan, the Chamber Federation remains strong,” said Jim Holcomb, Senior Executive Vice President for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “The Michigan Chamber and the local Chambers who signed on to our agenda will advocate for policies that help our members recover quickly from this public health emergency and promote free enterprise and entrepreneurism. Now, more than ever, we must get back to the basics and foster our economic recovery from the ground up. That starts with our main street businesses in cities and towns all across Michigan.”

Items covered in this agenda include the following:


Protect Employers Committed to Keeping  Their Employees & Workplaces Safe - Protect employers from liability, including adverse employment actions, if they rely upon state and federal guidance for re-opening and implementing safety protocols.

Exposure Lawsuits – Avoid a crippling surge of COVID-19 lawsuits by limiting the ability of plaintiffs’ attorneys to sue on behalf of individuals who did not develop COVID-19, were asymptomatic or simply experienced common flu-like symptoms. Without adequate protections in place, these lawsuits will place further strain on businesses and the economy, clog the courts and deter some businesses from reopening.

Good Samaritan Liability Protections – Michigan’s Good Samaritan laws should be expanded to provide retroactive and prospective product liability protection to companies designing, modifying, manufacturing, selling, distributing and/or donating products--including PPE, drugs, ventilators, hand sanitizers, soaps and other key cleaning supplies--in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The law should also be extended to businesses that provide property or services to aid in the COVID-19 response, such as hotels or other facilities that provide space to treat patients or house emergency personnel.


Unemployment Insurance (UI) Relief - Codify the Governor’s Executive Order prohibiting UI benefits paid due to the COVID-19 emergency from counting against an employer’s experience rating for unemployment tax calculations. 

Defer Sales, Use and Withholding (SUW) Taxes - Require SUW tax payments that were due during the months COVID-19 affected a business’ operations to be deferred, penalty and interest free, until December 31, 2020.This relief should include accelerated filers.

Extend Property Tax Deadline and Ensure Appeal Rights - The May 31 property tax deadline should be extended by 60 days. Consideration should be given to allow severely distressed businesses to defer their summer property taxes, interest and penalty free, to the due date of the winter levy. Taxpayer appeals rights MUST be maintained. 

Allow for Tax Payment Plans - Due to COVID-19, many Michigan businesses are struggling to keep their businesses open and upcoming tax payments could push them over the edge. These especially hard-hit businesses should be allowed to enter into a special payment agreement with the Department of Treasuryto establish a payment plan to meet their obligations and avoid penalty and/or interest. 


Foster Regulatory Compliance - Ensure all regulatory agencies are providing compliance flexibility to assist businesses as they continue to deal with COVID-19. 

Time Out on Unnecessary New Rules- As we work together to recover from COVID-19, state government should hit the pause button on new and non-essential government rules and regulations through December 31, 2020. 

Put Construction Trades to Work by Building the Great Lakes Tunnel- Keep the permitting process on track so we can start to build the Great Lakes Tunnel in 2021


Support Travel And Tourism by Funding the Pure Michigan Campaign.

Prioritize Workforce Development by Funding the GoingPro Training Fund.

Enact The ‘Good Jobs for Michigan’ Program (SB 492).

Encourage Investment in Michigan by Passing R&D Credits (SB 378). Improve Access to Government by Investing in Technology Upgrades.

Spur Economic Growth by Eliminating Negative Tax Treatment for Capital Investments

Local Chambers in Support of COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Agenda: Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce• Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce

Bay Area Chamber of Commerce (Bay County) • Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce • Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce (Port Huron)

Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce • Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce • Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce • Fenton & Linden Regional Chamber of Commerce • Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce • Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce • Gaylord Area Chamber of Commerce • Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce • Jackson Chamber of Commerce • Lake Gogebic Area Chamber of Commerce • Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce • Midland Business Alliance • Monroe County Chamber of Commerce • Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce • Oscoda AuSauble Chamber of Commerce • Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce • Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce • Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce (Taylor) • Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce (Benton Harbor) • Stockbridge Area Chamber of Commerce • Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce • Tecumseh Area Chamber of Commerce • Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce • Wyoming-Kentwood Chamber of Commerce


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