This week, SBAC members met with Congressman Brad Schneider and Congressman Sean Casten to discuss our federal agenda, including legislation to extend a financial lifeline to employees and allows small businesses to compete for talent on a level playing field.
According to the personal finance website, Make Lemonade, over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt is owed by more than 44 million borrowers in the U.S. — an average of about $40,000 owed per student. Many college graduates, working entry level jobs, struggle to make their student debt payments.
Small businesses are also impacted by the whopping student debt owed by prospective employees. While some may offer job applicants assistance with their student loans, many smaller companies do not have the capacity to provide such a benefit. This makes it more difficult for smaller businesses to compete for and retain talented professionals.
This is why the SBAC supports The Employer Participation in Repayment Act (H.R. 1043) which would allow businesses to contribute $5,250.00 annually to bring down their employees’ student debt without the payments being considered taxable income. Employers are also able to deduct the contributions.
During these polarizing times, elected officials from both sides of the aisle have come together to support this common-sense legislation because empowering new college graduates and supporting small businesses are not partisan issues.
Business organizations and those dedicated to empowering recent college graduates must form a strong coalition, contact legislators and strongly encourage everyone to join us in the effort to pass this important legislation.