Khan to introduce bipartisan legislation to assist small businesses impacted by natural disasters

HARRISBURG, March 22 – State Rep. Tarik Khan, D-Phila., announced that he plans to introduce legislation with a bipartisan group of legislators to assist small businesses that are affected by natural disasters.

Khan said he will be joined by state Reps. Jamie Flick, R-Lycoming/Union; Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery; Jason Ortitay, R-Washington/Allegheny; and Jose Giral, D-Phila, in introducing the legislation.

the legislation would create a Small Business Catastrophe Savings Account, which would allow for small businesses to deposit pre-tax dollars into a specially designated savings account.

Small businesses would be able to deduct this amount from their taxes; however, they would only be permitted to use these funds to help recover from a natural disaster when their insurance claim does not cover the full cost of rebuilding. If the small business needs the money in the future for another unrelated reason, the money could be withdrawn, but the business would need to remit all taxes owed. 

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economies, and we must do all that we can to ensure a natural disaster -- that they have no control over -- does not completely upend their business,” Khan said. “This legislation is fair and gives these businesses the opportunity to be better prepared financially in the case of one of these catastrophes.”

The lawmakers expressed their belief that allowing businesses to contribute to Small Business Catastrophe Savings accounts will incentivize them to put money aside to prepare for catastrophes and keep their businesses running in the event of unforeseen disasters.

“Small businesses in Pennsylvania feature diverse and cutting-edge operations that can meet with catastrophe in the face of natural disasters – especially ones that fall outside the realm of insurance coverage,” Daley said. “This plan allows businesses to better protect themselves against losses when misfortune strikes, putting them back on their feet – and back into our economy – sooner.”

“Mother Nature’s fury cannot be predicted,” Ortitay said. “Over the past several years, areas in my legislative district, including Oakdale, have experienced severe flooding. As a result, businesses have faced costs that are not covered or inadequately covered by insurance. This legislation will help business owners have somewhere to turn in the event of such a catastrophe.”

“Natural disasters can have a horrific effect on small businesses,” Giral said. “This legislation will give them an outlet to be better prepared to deal with the damage these disasters cause.”