Oklahoma businesses are facing their greatest challenge in a generation. With business income severely hampered by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across Oklahoma are struggling to keep their doors open. If we do not respond as a united business community to save Oklahoma's economy, our state will suffer the repercussions for decades to come.
Since 1926, the State Chamber of Oklahoma has served as the state's leading advocate for the business community, fighting for the right of every business to survive and thrive. That is why the State Chamber has been working with economists and the broader business community to develop Oklahoma's Comeback, a set of policy recommendations state leaders can adopt to address the most pressing needs of Oklahoma's economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A project of the State Chamber's OK2030 initiative, Oklahoma's Comeback is designed to be a multi-phase endeavor to address the immediate, short-term and long-term challenges Oklahoma will face in the weeks and months to come.
The first phase of Oklahoma's Comeback focuses on the measures needed to stabilize the economy and keep businesses open. We are calling upon lawmakers and state leaders to:
- Waive benefit wage charges for unemployment benefits directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Defer state business taxes and fees for 90 days;
- Remove barriers that discourage access to existing asset pools;
- Ensure the health care sector and those providing essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic are insulated from lawsuits.
We believe these measures are necessary to position Oklahoma for an economic recovery. As importantly, we believe in the resiliency of the Oklahoma business community. Join us in working with state leaders to enact these measures and make Oklahoma's comeback a reality.