By Jim Giammarinaro
President & CEO of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce
FRAMINGHAM – One of the roles of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce is to advocate for our communities and our members.
Recently, the Chamber advocated to against taxing federal Paycheck Protection Program grants received last year by thousands of MetroWest businesses.
I wrote a letter to legislators. In the letter, I wrote:
I would like to thank you for your continued support of our businesses in MetroWest. You may be aware of a concern from small businesses in our region (and throughout Massachusetts) that they will be taxed on the loan proceeds received through the CARES Act Payroll Protection Program. Business owners were under the assumption that if they kept employees on their payroll, the proceeds they received from PPP would be forgiven and exempt from taxation.
I spoke with many business owners who did not have sufficient work for their employees. With the help of the government, businesses kept people employed who otherwise would have been laid off and collecting unemployment. Small businesses who are just getting by will likely not be able to continue operations with this unexpected tax burden.
We urge the state to conform to the federal income exclusion for PPP loan forgiveness outlined in the CARES Act.
We do recognize that the economic shutdown in Massachusetts due to COVID has put the state in an unprecedented fiscal position. How does one balance the need for tax revenue with taxpayer relief? We hope that the outcome for our small businesses is more in line with tax relief. The state can provide this much needed relief by following the intent of the CARES Act and not taxing the forgivable loans that have helped keep many small businesses afloat.
Editor’s Note: SOURCE and the MetroWest Chamber have formed a partnership. The Chamber’s column will run on Tuesdays on the digital news media outlet.