CARSON CITY, Nevada – February 10, 2021
Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak provided introductory remarks on Assembly Bill 106 at a joint meeting of the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance.
The piece of legislation would allocate an additional $50 million to support small businesses through the Pandemic Emergency Technical Support (PETS) Grant Program.
A copy of the Governor’s remarks are below:
Good evening. Thank you for having me. Tonight, Treasurer Zach Conine and GOED Director Michael Brown will walk you through the mechanics of this piece of legislation and answer any questions the committee may have, but before they begin, I felt it was important to appear before you myself and speak to the importance of this bill.
First, I want to thank Speaker Frierson, Majority Leader Cannizzaro, Chair Carlton, Chair Brooks, members of both committees, and the entire LCB staff for bringing forward this piece of legislation so quickly.
I also want to thank all the legislators who have worked to provide assistance to small businesses and non-profits in their districts throughout this pandemic – including connecting them to the PETS grant program that will be discussed this evening.
As you all know, small businesses represent almost half of all the jobs in our State. They’ve been hit hard by this pandemic, and their creativity and determination serve as an inspiration to us all.
In October, I joined the Treasurer and GOED to launch a small business grant program using CARES Act funds. I want to thank all of the legislators who served on the Interim Finance Committee and made this program possible with your support.
Under this program, eligible businesses and non-profits could apply for up to $10,000 in direct grant funding that can be used for a wide range of expenses – much broader than federal funding that’s been restricted to certain expenditures.
The response to the program has been incredible, but also clearly demonstrated the need for assistance that exists throughout the state. In the months between October and the end of the 2020, and with the approval of IFC, the funding for the program increased up to $50 million in an effort to match the needs of our small businesses.
But we know the need continues. That’s why I announced my recommendation to add another $50 million in funds to this vital program during my State of the State. If approved, the infusion of this additional funding will bring the grand total to $100 million -- making this the largest small business grant program in State history. And that’s the piece of legislation you have before you this evening.
I know you’ve heard from many small businesses and non-profits in your district over the course of the pandemic. Like all of you, I’ve had the chance to talk to many myself, including those who have already received their PETS grant.
For many of our small businesses, the funding they were provided was the difference between staying open or closing their doors. It was the difference between meeting payroll for their staff or making the excruciating decision to lay people off.
For our non-profits, this funding resulted in being able to help more people in need – providing them the ability to serve more meals, connect to more resources, and help Nevadans get by or get back on their feet.
These grants have served as a lifeline, and we know so many more will benefit from this as we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic toward economic recovery.
This program provides us something we can all agree on – that when we are able to provide help to those who need it during one of the most trying times in our State’s history, we are going to get it done.
This isn’t a Democratic or Republican priority -- it's not an urban priority or rural priority. Helping small businesses is a Nevada priority. I look forward to sending that message loud and clear with bipartisan support to the residents of our great State.
I want to give a special thanks to Treasurer Conine, GOED Director Michael Brown and their incredible teams. The work that was completed in a short timeframe to launch and implement this program was nothing short of amazing. At this time, I will turn it over to Treasurer and Director to discuss the mechanics of the bill and answer any questions you may have.
Again, thank you for your time. I look forward to signing this bill and working with you all to help our small businesses and non-profits