Alliance Advocates for COVID-19 Recovery Funding

This week, the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance continued COVID-19 recovery advocacy with a formal request to the House and Senate Appropriations Chairs to fund Pure Michigan, Going Pro, and to remain committed to investing in roads and bridges in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. In the letter, the Alliance outlined how these programs are essential to Michigan’s economic recovery.

Pure Michigan has proven to provide a significant return on investment, returning nearly nine dollars in state tax revenue for every dollar invested in advertising. During recovery, the Alliance believes that we should rely on programs that have proven their worth and value.

As our state grapples with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, the Alliance identified Going Pro as a program to train our workforce to enter trades that will continue pushing us into the 21st-century job market. Going Pro provides job training grants to businesses to support training for high-demand, skilled trades industries and can support the reinvention and diversification of our economies.

While our entire state continues to get back to work, our roads and bridges will take people to and from employment and bring commerce and out-of-state visitors, generating economic activity in all regions of Michigan. Northern Michigan continues to advocate for a road funding model that accounts for rural highways, arterials, and connectors that feed the region’s economy.

The Alliance also worked with fellow organizations to pen a letter to the Governor and House and Senate Appropriations Chairs, further underscoring the importance of Pure Michigan. Alliance and members included, 22 organizations supported the continuation of Pure Michigan funding to promote our state as a destination where communities and businesses are safely reopening.

In other news, this week, the Legislature passed two bills supported by the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance and numerous chambers from across Michigan. House Bills 5781 & 5811 allow for social districts and liquor to go and are on their way to the Governor. House Bill 5781, sponsored by State Rep. Webber, allows local governments to designate a social district containing a commons area where restaurants and bars could obtain a permit so patrons could consume alcohol in these commons areas, with certain conditions. House Bill 5811, sponsored by Rep. Anthony, would allow a qualified licensee to fill and sell qualified containers with liquor for consumption off the premises, with certain conditions.

Also recently passed by the Legislature and on their way to the Governor are House Bills 5761 and 5810, both sponsored by Rep. James Lower. These bills allow qualifying property owners who have experienced economic hardship because of COVID-19 until March 1, 2021 to pay their summer 2020 property tax. Interest in the delinquent property taxes would not accrue until June 1, 2021.

Businesses will have more time to pay sales, use, and withholding taxes under Senate Bills 935, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Daley; 936, sponsored by Sen. Jim Runestad; and 937, sponsored by northern Michigan Sen. Curt Vanderwall.  The bills allow businesses negatively impacted by the crisis to make March-August SUW payments over six months. These bills are on their way to the Governor.

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