Washington, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) prioritized legislation and Congressional efforts to help Nevada businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic, continue to innovate, and look toward the future.
“The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for small businesses in Nevada—they’ve had to figure out new ways to interact with customers, protect workers’ and public safety, and handle cash flows and loans. This week, I focused on introducing bipartisan legislation to help those businesses as the economy recovers. Small businesses are at the heart of so many of our communities, and I’ll continue doing all I can in the Senate to help them get past this pandemic and through to a vibrant recovery.”
This week, Senator Cortez Masto met with Isabel Guzman, President Biden’s nominee to be head of the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Senator discussed with Ms. Guzman the issues affecting Nevada small businesses. The Senator also sent a letter, along with Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), urging the SBA to expand the number of businesses eligible for funding from the newly established Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program to include air show operators and other small entertainment businesses.
In addition, Senator Cortez Masto introduced the following legislation as part of her Innovation State Initiative to shore up small businesses in the Silver State:
- The SECURE Small Business Act to protect small businesses from expensive data breaches and cyber-attacks by establishing a cooperative at the SBA to help small businesses pool their resources to purchase cybersecurity products and services at lower prices.
- The Small Business Innovation Voucher Act to create a voucher program at the SBA to provide federal grants for small businesses to partner with institutions of higher education to conduct research and development
- The Promoting Digital Privacy Technologies Act, which would help businesses that collect data protect customers’ privacy by requiring the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote research into privacy enhancing technologies (PET) and develop standards for integration of PETs into public and private sector data use.
In addition, as part of the budget reconciliation process in preparation for COVID-19 stimulus legislation, Senator Cortez Masto voted for several key amendments to help Nevada businesses:
- The bipartisan amendment that she introduced along with Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) to support the hospitality, travel, tourism, and entertainment industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendment, which passed the Senate by voice vote, will ensure the Senate prioritizes support for the hospitality industry as Congress crafts legislation to provide coronavirus relief to communities across the U.S.
- A bipartisan amendment proposed by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) to establish a fund to support restaurants and bars affected by the pandemic. Senator Cortez Masto is a cosponsor of the RESTAURANTS Act.