We, as small business owners and employers, are writing to encourage the Congress to extend the TANF Emergency Fund for an additional year before the program expires on September 30th. In an economy that continues to struggle, this program has provided us with federally funded employees to help our businesses expand and thrive during hard times. The loss of this program would be devastating to thousands of small businesses and other employers across the country.
Thirty six states now have subsidized employment programs through the TANF Emergency Fund. The program has provided employment for over 240,000 workers in our nation, and provides additional stimulus to our local economies.
Small businesses benefit in particular since having additional workers can make a big difference to a company with a small staff. Getting a worker with subsidized wages, also frees up cash for other types of needed investments. These benefits, in essence, make the TANF Emergency Fund a small business program, as well as a jobs program.
Lawmakers and economic “think tanks” all over the political spectrum have praised the creativity and employment opportunities provided by the Fund. According to Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, the TANF Emergency Fund “actually has worked…and the best part is that many of these jobs will likely be in the private sector.” LaDonna Pavetti of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities called the TEF “…a bright spot in an economy that is producing new jobs at a very slow pace.”
States with both Republican and Democratic governors, including Georgia, Illinois, Florida, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, California and Texas, have all supported small business owners by creating subsidized jobs programs. As the thousands of businesses who have benefitted from the TANF Emergency Fund can attest, job creation in our nation is, at its core, a bipartisan issue.
The TANF Emergency Fund is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2010. Without an extension thousands of small businesses will be forced to lay off workers. Due to the current economic crisis and the financial uncertainty faced by so many American families and small businesses, it is imperative that our lawmakers extend this valuable program. The Senate has considered an extension of this program earlier this year in legislation that does not increase the deficit and now it the time to move this program forward. We urge Congress to act to extend the TANF Emergency Fund!
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