By the Office of Rep. Raul Ruiz
Contributed

On Nov. 26, Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-Palm Desert) announced the introduction of his bill to encourage small businesses to invest in their workers. Ruiz’s bill, H.R. 5261, the Rewarding American Investments to Support Employees (RAISE) Act, would encourage small businesses to give pay raises to employees by providing employers with a tax credit of up to 10% of their total payroll increase that year. This tax credit would be particularly helpful for small businesses in California as they transition to a $15 an hour minimum wage through 2023.  

“The success of any business is driven by the men and women who show up to work each day, and when companies invest in their employees, everyone wins,” Ruiz said. “That’s why I’ve introduced the RAISE Act, which would support our small businesses, stimulate our local economies and put more money in the pockets of hardworking middle-class families. Additionally, as small businesses in California make the transition to a higher minimum wage, my bill would support them as they continue investing in their employees.”

Small Business Saturday will take place this Saturday, Nov. 30 and is aimed at encouraging shoppers to buy from local and small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of local economies, with $68 of every $100 spent staying in the community, as opposed to the $43 that stays in the community when that $100 is spent at a national chain. 

“We are in support of H.R. 5261, the RAISE Act,” said Patrick Swarthout of the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce (GCVCC). “This legislation represents the types of pro-growth policies the GCVCC supports and would benefit both business owners and employees. This legislation will help small and medium-sized businesses reward hard work and retain their best employees.”  

Background 

Ruiz has prioritized growing small businesses and the regional economy during his time in office. Earlier this month, the House passed Ruiz’s H.R. 4450, the Increasing American Jobs and Exports Act, as an amendment to H.R. 4863, the U.S. Export Finance Agency Act. This bill would help grow small businesses and farms by making funds available for additional U.S. Exports Finance Agency Regional Offices around the country to provide capital for businesses as they expand their exporting capacity and job growth ability. 

In 2016, Ruiz helped establish the only small business administration satellite office in the Inland Empire in the Coachella Valley. 

The RAISE Act provides a tax credit valued at 10% of the difference between year-to-year employee wages for all workers earning $75,000 a year or less (adjusted for inflation). To ensure that the benefits are realized by small- and medium-size businesses, they can claim a maximum of $500,000 under the tax credit. 

The RAISE Act has been endorsed by the Desert Business Association and the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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