Sacramento Capitol Building image via wikipedia user Suvicce

published on September 9, 2021 - 2:43 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Members of Fresno’s legislative delegation are calling on Gov. Newsom to support back-to-work incentives to help boost California small businesses and end pandemic-era unemployment benefits.

Help Wanted California, a statewide effort to get the California economy roaring again, is a part of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee and a coalition of California small businesses, advocates, and elected leaders.

A letter to Newsom signed by Senators Andreas Borgeas, Anna Caballero and Melissa Hurtado, as well as Assemblymembers Jim Patterson and Rudy Salas, calls for the governor to allow extra unemployment benefits to end instead of repurposing federal COVID-19 relief fund to continue the benefits.

“It is the position of the ‘Help Wanted California’ coalition that California should allow the current unemployment insurance benefits to sunset in September while implementing new financial incentives to both employees and small businesses to encourage people to return to work,” the letter states.

The extra unemployment assistance expired on Sept. 4, but state lawmakers and the governor can repurpose federal relief funds for continued unemployment financial assistance.

The letter said that back-to-work incentives can be coupled with programs to offset childcare costs for returning workers and provide rental assistance to returning workers as incentives to encourage the unemployed to seek and accept available jobs in their community.

Scott Miller, president and CEO of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, said that even with aggressive recruitment, flexible work arrangements, signing bonuses and increased pay, small businesses are still having trouble finding workers.

“In the last several months, the countless ‘Help Wanted’ signs in California store windows have taken on a dual meaning. Our small businesses are desperately seeking workers, but they are also in dire need of policy relief,” Miller said.

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