Washington, D.C.—Members of the Natural Products Association (NPA) anticipate spending an annual average of $13,595 on COVID-19-related priorities including testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and workplace changes to accommodate social distancing, according to a new survey. NPA reported that some companies expect to spend up to $200,000, and others are bracing for significant costs but were unable to give a figure yet due to the uncertainties of state-level government decisions on reopening.
“As Americans have turned to nutritional supplements to support their health and immune systems in this crisis, natural products businesses have truly been a lifeline,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of NPA, in a press release. “The downside is that this has come at great cost, and this survey reflects that. It is vital that Congress include targeted tax credits for natural products businesses so they can continue to serve the American people and keep their doors open. We checked with our members on what they need most from the next stimulus package and this was the #1 priority.”
NPA announced that it is backing the Healthy Workplaces Tax Credit. This proposal, introduced by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), is designed to help businesses continue to safely reopen and acquire necessary safety measures. According to a press release from Senator Portman’s office, the act will help ensure the safety of employees and consumers through a refundable tax credit against payroll taxes for 50% of the costs incurred by a business for increased testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfecting, extra cleaning, and reconfiguring work spaces to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
NPA noted that the Healthy Workplace Tax Credit will limit this benefit to a maximum of $1,000 per employee for a business’s first 500 employees, $750 per employee for the next 500 employees, and $500 for each employee thereafter, thereby recognizing the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on small- and medium-sized businesses.
“A successful reopening of our economy is dependent on both employees and consumers feeling comfortable going back and this tax credit will help make that happen,” Senator Portman said. “I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this tax credit to ensure the successful reopening of our economy.”