By Keith Knepp
NAPPANEE — US Sen. Todd Young spent part of his Tuesday visiting northern Indiana, including a stop for lunch and a brief press conference in Nappanee.
Young was touting his proposed legislation, which he has co-sponsored with his Colorado Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet. The “Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-twenty ” Act, also known as RESTART, would support small- and mid-sized businesses most affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
According to Young, the proposal would help businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, including restaurants, music venues, theaters and manufacturers. RESTART would offer a seven-year loan of up to $12 million to businesses to help with payroll and other basic business expenses.
“It’s the proper role of government at this time,” said Young., adding that it would help businesses that benefitted from the Payroll Protection Plan as well those that were unable to qualify for PPP assistance for one reason or another. “It’s a flexible instrument that could benefit businesses whether they have one employee or 5,000. Broad swaths of our economy would benefit.”
Former U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who now is a Nappanee business owner, welcomed the proposed legislation. “The pandemic has hit us harder than we expected,” he said. “We haven’t had the traffic we’ve seen in the past. We definitely do need a restart to encourage people to come out when they feel safe.”
Stutzman added that he appreciated that Young’s proposal is a loan program, “We’re not looking for a handout,” he added. “We’re not looking for free money. We need access to capital to get through these difficult times. I’m more than happy to pay it back.”