SC Rep. pushes for aid using budget surplus as employees face mass lay-offs

SC Rep. pushes for aid using budget surplus as employees face mass lay-offs

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - As businesses across the country struggle to keep customers during the COVID-19 crisis, many have had to completely shut down their restaurants and stores.

Here in South Carolina, local businesses have been negatively impacted, regardless of whether they're remaining open for takeout or not.

One man says he and other leaders at Home Team BBQ had to completely let go of their staff.

"It's been a long week," Aaron Siegel of Home Team BBQ said. "Tuesday night, Wednesday we laid off, in the neighborhood of, about 380-390 employees. That's all the way from the top, down to the bottom. We're almost 14 years old, we spent a lot of time building this thing up. To de-structure it like that in 24 hours is pretty tough. We're obviously very worried about our employees."

Representative JA Moore from the Low Country is pushing for a way to get business owners and employees the help that they need. Along with being a representative, Moore is also a chef with a catering business. He says he personally knows the damage the hospitality industry has taken because of COVID-19.

“Tax credits are great, but right now what people actually need is money. They need cash in their hand,” Moore said. " What I’m proposing is we take that surplus of 1.8 billion in this year’s budget, and put it all towards small business and worker’s stimulus packets so we can infuse much-needed resources, cash on hand. Millions of people will lose their jobs, their livelihood, as this pandemic spreads."

Along with that push for a business stimulus package, Representative Moore is also fighting for immediate Medicaid expansion.

He says, at a time like this, giving healthcare access to every South Carolinian is vitally important for the health, well-being, and protection of the people.

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