South Carolina congressman advocates for small business while in isolation, supports stimulus

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – Representative Joe Cunningham has been working from home the last two weeks but not necessarily by choice. He was exposed to the coronavirus and has been in isolation.

“I feel great, I don’t have any symptoms and you know this quarantine period will be coming to an end here soon,” he told News 3 via Skype. “This was done out of an abundance of caution.”

Cunningham says his isolation may end by Friday. Meanwhile, he’s been hearing from dozens and dozens of small business owners.

“They’re afraid they’re worried and rightfully so, you know these are businesses that have been open for decades and some of them have had the same employees for 20 – 30 years and they’ve had to lay them off, can you imagine how hard that is,” said Cunningham.

He supports the stimulus bill that’s now passed the U.S. Senate and hopes it passes quickly in the House. He says on the House side, some stimulus is already available.

It’s economic help that’s desperately needed for small businesses and employees,” said Cunningham.

“The House stimulus has set aside up to $7 billion for small businesses and we would encourage any small businesses that are confronting these challenges to reach out to our office to see if we can help in any way,” he said. “We have dedicated staff to help small businesses make it through this.”

Help may come in the form of tax relief — but Cunningham also supports direct checks to businesses. He says that lawmakers are dealing with uncertainty like everyone else.

“No one really knows when this will end and when we’ll be getting through the thick of it but two things have to happen number one Congress has to do their job and provide the resources that small businesses, specifically ones impacted in the food and beverage industry and tourism industry down here in the Lowcountry that’s what’s most important to me,” he said.

“We have to have a form of social responsibility that if people feel sick they stay home you have to limit the exposure to other individuals and stop the spread of this,” Cunningham added.

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