The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty and caused budgetary shortfalls in Georgia and throughout the United States. Sales taxes have plummeted, and locally-owned businesses are focused on serving their customers safely. 

As a small business owner in Georgia, I’ve seen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic firsthand.

As a former member of the House of Representatives and an economic development leader, I know how important our workforce is for economic success and opportunity. 

The CARES Act is one such recovery strategy, passed by Congress with overwhelming, bipartisan support. But it’s not enough, and it excluded small cities and towns across Georgia. Congress must expand upon the CARES Act and provide direct economic assistance to states, cities, and towns.

Georgia faces a more than $4 billion budget shortfall, and local governments all over the state are suffering from a substantial loss of sales tax revenue. And now Georgia legislators are talking $2.2 billion in cuts for the next budget year, including nearly $1 billion in cuts to K-12 public schools and a range of cuts to vital health and social services.

The federal government has the power to help Georgia’s economy rebound. Now is the time for Congress to step up and prevent the worst unemployment crisis of many of our lifetimes. I applaud Senators Perdue and Loeffler for their efforts on behalf of Georgia that will ensure our state focuses on returning to business as usual, and I urge them to support additional stimulus.

Chris Hart

Thomasville, Ga.

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