Small business priorities related to Paycheck Protection Program loans and childcare move forward

Happy waiter with protective face mask holding open sign while standing at cafe doorway.

Two bills important to the survival of small businesses across Kentucky passed through committees Friday, sending them to their final legislative steps.

Senate Bill 148, sponsored by Senator Danny Carroll, restricts regulations that can be imposed on certified family childcare homes in an effort to encourage more in-home care, which could expand access to childcare for Kentucky’s working families.

The legislation, supported by the Kentucky Chamber, would restore the number of children in a classroom to pre-pandemic levels and allow the combining of classes in the morning and afternoon to help with staffing. The bill also prescribes what regulations the Cabinet for Health and Family Services may promulgate regarding child care centers during a state of emergency.

Carroll told the committee many have struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result of restrictions, the state has lost many childcare centers with many others  now struggling to survive. He stated the legislation will help with some childcare deserts across the state by opening the door to others providing these badly needed services.

The owner of a childcare center in western Kentucky testified that his business has lost more than $150,000 in the last year and stressed the importance of the combining classes and other changes to regulations.

Senate Bill 148 passed unanimously in committee and now moves to the House floor.

As many Kentucky businesses have received loans to help them pay employees in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, that income for a forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan has been deemed non-taxable at the federal level.

House Bill 278, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Flannery, would allow small businesses and self-employed individuals in Kentucky who have received a forgivable PPP loan to deduct expenses paid with the loan.

Flannery said the legislation will not lead to a windfall for larger businesses but will instead protect Kentucky’s small businesses from a large tax burden.

House Bill 278 passed through the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee with little discussion and now moves to the Senate floor for a vote.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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