Ryan Suggests Proposal Coming to Help Small Businesses

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan says a proposal to help small businesses struggling to survive as closures due to the coronavirus pandemic with a possible stimulus package as well as reducing the payroll tax will be revealed today.

“This is a national emergency,” said Ryan, D-13 Ohio, at a press conference Thursday with medical and health experts, political and community leaders from the Mahoning Valley. Local leaders emphasized the need for residents to comply with state health orders not to gather in groups, the urgency of social or physical distancing and to stay at home as much as possible to prevent the virus from spreading.

Ryan citizens can have an impact on preventing virus spread and save lives just by practicing social distancing.

As far as the payroll plan, he said they are figuring out how to pay for it.

“I don’t think it’s going to have a stimulative effect on the consumer side with reducing the payroll tax,” but reducing the payroll tax in the short term will benefit businesses because “businesses have to make a decision on whether they pay their payroll taxes or pay the note on business and other costs,” Ryan said.

He said the House is working with the banks to work closely with the federal government on a plan to get direct payments to citizens.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump signed the $8 billion Family First Coronavirus Recovery Act relief package that is being used to help the health-care system, displaced workers and to fund vaccine research for the novel coronavirus. It also expedites unemployment benefits, expands Medicaid and provides money to the Small Business Administration for low-interest loans.

Dr. James Kravec, chief clinical officer for Mercy Health-Youngstown and medical director of Mahoning County Public Health, said no testing is being done unless a patient is hospitalized in the intensive care unit. He says if residents have symptoms they should quarantine themselves and only come to hospital in an emergency, which he said is having trouble breathing.

“We have to save testing for those who are sickest,” he said.

The health-care industry is facing a shortage of testing supplies as well as personal protective equipment .

Ed Muransky, CEO of The Muransky Companies, says the community needs to head state guidelines for social distancing. He echoed sentiments shared by most in the health-care community, advising residents to “treat it as if we all have it” in an effort to keep health-care professionals safe so they can still help patients affected by coronavirus and other illnesses.

“There’s nobody out there who’s above this. It’s not a joke to have a playdate that nobody’s seeing,” Muransky said. “It’s not a joke to have a party when nobody’s looking. This is the real deal and it’s time for our community to realize it’s a time of unselfish giving.”

Health department officials also are working with businesses to have nonessential employees work remotely.

The church community is helping residents to continue worshipping and practicing their faith through remote means, such as online videos and video conferencing, said the Rev. Lewis Macklin, pastor at Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church. Mass gatherings and Sunday services have been prohibited because of the coronavirus.

Macklin says this is a time for people to activate faith and not fear.

“Now is the time to live and show it. In the midst of chaos, we will have calmness. Ways we can practice social distance without being disconnected from God,” he said.

Pictured: U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan addresses the media with Dr. James Kravec, chief clinical officer for Mercy Health-Youngstown and medical director of Mahoning County Public Health, and Ed Muransky, CEO of The Muranksy Companies.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.