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March 01, 2021

Rep. Bourdeaux Introduces First Piece Of Legislation

WASHINGTON — Today, United States Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) introduced her first piece of legislation, H.R. 1398, the bipartisan and bicameral Filtering and Retrofitting the Environment for Safe and Healthy Activities Indoors and Revenue (FRESH AIR) for Businesses Act. This critical legislation provides a tax credit for businesses that modernize their ventilation systems in order to reduce the transmission of airborne diseases, including COVID-19.

The FRESH AIR for Businesses Act is cosponsored by Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48) in the House and is the companion measure to S.122, a Senate bill introduced by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND). Key endorsing organizations include: the National Restaurant Association, Georgia Restaurant Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), Small Business Roundtable, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, and the Forsyth Chamber of Commerce.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, more than 400,000 small businesses across the country have closed their doors, and thousands more, including many in my District, struggle every day just to stay afloat. By incentivizing best safety practices, while at the same time offering businesses much-needed tax relief, our bipartisan and bicameral FRESH AIR for Businesses Act will help support at-risk businesses and make our communities safer from COVID-19. I thank Senator Rosen, Senator Cramer, and Congresswoman Steel for partnering with me on this essential measure,” said Congresswoman Bourdeaux.

“Independently owned restaurants and small businesses are the backbone of our local economies. They have been some of the hardest hit during the pandemic, with prolonged lockdowns leading to almost 50% of small businesses in California at risk of closing and never reopening. These tax credits will help local businesses to keep their employees and customers safe, keep their payrolls active, and their doors open,” said Congresswoman Steel.

“As a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, one of my top priorities is to help Nevada’s small businesses manage and overcome the dangers caused by COVID-19. I am glad to see Rep. Bourdeaux and fellow lawmakers in the House introduce this important bipartisan legislation to provide our businesses with a tax credit to upgrade their air ventilation, filtration, and purification systems. By making our indoor spaces safer for customers and workers, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19, help boost consumer confidence, and keep businesses afloat. I will continue working alongside my colleagues in Congress to provide Nevada businesses and entrepreneurs the support they need to not only succeed, but thrive,” said Senator Rosen.

“More businesses are going to permanently close if customers don’t feel safe going to them, but there are changes they can make to restore consumer confidence and protect their workers and customers. Our bill extends businesses and nonprofits a helping hand, allowing them to make upgrades to their facilities that help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Senator Cramer.

“The Gwinnett Chamber has long supported safely reopening business and commends small businesses that quickly adjusted their operations during the pandemic to accommodate a safe environment for their customers and employees. The FRESH Air for Businesses Act gives businesses a strong incentive to upgrade their air ventilation, filtration, and purification systems while further boosting consumer and employee confidence as we continue to reopen our economy. We are proud to give our endorsement and appreciate the bi-partisan approach by Congresswoman Bourdeaux and her colleagues in Congress,” said Nick Masino, President & CEO, Gwinnett Chamber and Partnership Gwinnett.

“Restaurants remain committed to providing a safe environment for customers and employees alike. The FRESH AIR Act would provide important support for restaurants investing in new and improved ventilation systems, and we applaud Congresswomen Bourdeaux and Steel for their bipartisan leadership in introducing this legislation. At a time when restaurants are struggling to remain open, this targeted tax credit will both improve safety and help local businesses sustain the effects of COVID-19,” said Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President, National Restaurant Association

“Small businesses continue to face challenges at every turn, and anywhere we can support them, we must. Given the virus’ airborne nature, ensuring businesses can affordably invest in air filtration and ventilation systems in order to attract customers is a straightforward solution that can go a long way to build back consumer confidence. We support this legislation to help as many businesses and families as possible weather this enduring crisis,” said John Stanford, Co-Executive Director of Small Business Roundtable.

*See the full FRESH AIR for Businesses Act here*

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Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux lives with her family in Suwanee, Georgia and represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the 117th Congress. Carolyn is a strong advocate for affordable health care, an economic recovery that puts workers and small businesses first, and investing in her district’s world-class public education system and transportation infrastructure. 

Georgia’s fast-changing 7th Congressional District includes portions of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan area, including portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties and cities Peachtree Corners, Berkeley Lake, Sugar Hill, Norcross, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn, Suwanee, Grayson, and Buford.