Press Releases

For Immediate Release
December 21, 2020

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Tricia Harris, | 717.720.5447

PA Chamber: Federal COVID Relief Package Provides Critical Help to Struggling Businesses

Critical liability protections still needed as part of economic recovery effort

HARRISBURG - PA Chamber President Gene Barr issued the following statement today on Congressional approval of pandemic relief legislation – which includes approximately $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program.


“We applaud Congress’ passage of this important COVID-19 relief legislation.  As the pandemic rages on, the support for small businesses and nonprofits; as well as additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program comes at a critical juncture.  For months, the economy has suffered as states have implemented mitigation orders in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.  Across the Commonwealth, businesses have had to spend significant resources in order to comply with state and CDC-issued health guidelines.  Many of those that have been able to survive this challenging environment thus far are currently hanging on by a thread.  This is especially true for the restaurant industry, given Governor Wolf’s most recent closure orders that prohibit indoor dining.  This relief package provides much-needed aid to businesses, helping to keep the economy going.


“While we are pleased that Congress took this necessary action, we’re disappointed that targeted COVID-19 liability protections weren’t included in the final agreement.  Unfortunately, there are some in Senate Democratic leadership that continue to side with personal injury lawyers to the detriment of small businesses, non-profits, child care providers, and the education and medical communities.  In fact, Democratic opposition to liability protections held up the finalization of a federal relief package throughout the fall.  This allegiance to protecting the trial bar and refusal to consider limited liability protections, ultimately resulted in a lack of relief funding for state and local governments.  As we have noted since the pandemic first made its way to Pennsylvania, safe harbor protections are a critical component to both the state’s and nation’s economic recovery efforts.  Those good actors that are following government health guidelines shouldn’t have to face the threat of unwarranted lawsuits as they work to overcome so many other financial hurdles during this pandemic. We encourage lawmakers at the state and federal level to take up this issue as soon as possible in the upcoming legislative session.”


The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.