March 2021
Ryan Tarrant, President/CEO
Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
989-893-4567
Veronica Horn, President/CEO
Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce
989-752-7161
COVID-19 Data Update
Percent Increase/Decrease Compared to Previous Seven Days, National Ranking Per 100,000 Residents with #1 Being Worst Possible.

*The North Dakota database for 2/21/2021 was not updated, but national rankings have been.
Week Beginning February 21, 2021

Michigan
New COVID-19 Cases: -13%, #47
Test Positivity Rate: -.4%, #39
Number of Deaths: -11%, #34
COVID-19 Related Hospitalizations: -18%, #45

Indiana
New COVID-19 Cases: -39%, #38
Test Positivity Rate: -.8%, #34
Number of Deaths: -52%, #25
COVID-19 Related Hospitalizations: -20%, #27
 
Ohio
New COVID-19 Cases: -26%, #23
Test Positivity Rate: -.8%, #31
Number of Deaths: -56%, #1
COVID-19 Related Hospitalizations: -12%, #17

North Dakota*
New COVID-19 Cases: Unavailable, #44
Test Positivity Rate: Unavailable, #50
Number of Deaths: Unavailable, #50
COVID-19 Related Hospitalizations: Unavailable, #37
Bay County Updates
Restaurant Capacity

While we are pleased with the announcement that Michigan bars and restaurants will be allowed to move to 50 percent capacity for dine-in service, we continue to advocate for the State of Michigan to provide transparent metrics for continued restrictions on specific industries, including what could trigger further restrictions or relaxation of current restrictions.
Government Affairs Committee

The Government Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet and review the policy guide of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce in March. If you have an issue you would like to have included in this discussion, please send your thoughts and concerns to ryantarrant@baycityarea.com.
Feet on the Street

Bay City’s “Feet on the Street” program, which closes certain streets seasonally to traffic for an expanded outdoor dining and shopping experience, is poised to return shortly. This program, advocated for by the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and others, and run by the City of Bay City, has been a wonderful opportunity to support our local businesses and has expanded their ability to serve their customers during a challenging time.
Week Beginning February 28, 2021
 
Michigan
New COVID-19 Cases: +17%, #44
Test Positivity Rate: -.2%, #38
Number of Deaths: -34%, #43
COVID-19 Related Hospitalizations: +7%, #43
 
Indiana
New COVID-19 Cases: +0%, #36
Test Positivity Rate: -.4%, #33
Number of Deaths: -1%, #27
COVID-19 Related Hospitalizations: +0%, #27
 
Ohio
New COVID-19 Cases: -2%, #25
Test Positivity Rate: -.7%, #30
Number of Deaths: -69%, #16
COVID-19 Related Hospitalizations: -9%, #18
 
North Dakota
New COVID-19 Cases: -18%, #48
Test Positivity Rate: -.4%, #51
Number of Deaths: +33%, #49
COVID-19 Related Hospitalizations: -32%, #4
Saginaw County Updates
MI Salt Parity Coalition Letter

Subject: Please Support Passthrough Business Tax Parity

Please support HB 4288, legislation that will restore tax parity between large C-corporations and smaller “pass-through” businesses.

Pass-through businesses are ones NOT organized as a C-corporation but as an S-corporation, partnership or limited liability company. These businesses differ from large C-corporations because a pass-through business’s income “passes through” to the owner where the owner pays personal income taxes on the income from their business.

Smaller, pass-through business are the backbone of Michigan’s economy. Found mostly on main streets all across our communities, they represent the majority of Michigan businesses, they employ the majority of the state’s workers, and they have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

HB 4288 can help these businesses at a difficult time. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cap on State and local tax (SALT) deductions applies to many of Michigan’s 250,000 resident owners of S-corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies. This loss results in tax rates 1.3 to 1.6 percentage points higher than if they were allowed to fully deduct those taxes like C-Corporations are allowed to do. This puts Michigan businesses at a disadvantage compared to businesses operating in states with no income taxes or those, like Wisconsin, operating in states that have already adopted SALT parity.

HB 4288 would address this disparity and restore the full SALT deduction to Michigan’s pass-through businesses without reducing revenues collected by the state. The legislation:

  • Provides an election for pass-through businesses to pay their SALT at the entity level;
  • Includes an income exemption, so that owners of businesses making the election are not subject to double taxation; and
  • Provides Michigan business owners with a credit for taxes paid to other states that have adopted similar SALT parity reforms. 

This last provision is designed to ensure that businesses operating in multiple states are not disadvantaged by double taxation, and its increasingly important as the number of states adopting the SALT parity reform grows. Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin have all passed similar SALT parity reforms, while more than a dozen other states are actively considering it. In November 2020, the Internal Revenue Service approved these efforts as “consistent with the longstanding position" of the agency.

SALT parity will help these businesses better survive the pandemic by reducing their federal tax burden without reducing tax collections to the state. It is a win-win for Michigan and its business owners.

We look forward to working with you to see this important reform adopted this year.
Line 5 Pipeline

We agree with the Detroit News editorial board: Line 5 is the reason Michigan doesn't have an energy problem.
#GreatLakesMichiganJobs
DID YOU KNOW? It will take 2 million work hours to build the #GreatLakesTunnel project. That’s 2 million good-paying hours for hardworking #Michiganders. Let’s build the Tunnel!
#GreatLakesMichiganJobs
Restaurant Reopening Letter

The Honorable Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
Re: Restaurant Reopening
Dear Governor Whitmer:
Our organizations are encouraged by the data that continues to be shared across Michigan. Positivity rates are trending in the right direction and vaccines are reaching more Michiganders every day.
It is no secret that some industries, based on the sheer nature of their industries, have been impacted more than others. Our restaurant industry has fallen into this category and continues to face barriers to remaining in business. Our organizations support the concept of a graduated reopening of restaurants that is science based and data driven.

Our organizations’ memberships are made up of all industry types, including restaurants and health systems, and we continue to address the pandemic with these guiding principles as we work together in our response and recovery efforts:
  1. Businesses need clarity, consistency, and transparency on decisions made
  2. All industries should be allowed to open with proper safety protocols
  3. We must be precise on how we control outbreaks
  4. Continue to utilize best practices- informed by data- on ways to protect our citizens 

We continue to pledge partnership with you, your Administration and the Legislature, to find solutions that protect lives and livelihoods. Thank you for your leadership in addressing the impact of COVID-19 on our businesses, on our citizens, and on Michigan as a whole. We appreciate your consideration, and we look forward to continuing to partner with you as we recover.
On behalf of our members, the Bay Area and Saginaw County Chambers of Commerce will continue to monitor public policy that impacts our region, our communities and most importantly, your business!