Once again N.C. Governor Roy Cooper has shown his disdain and disinterest in helping small business owners across the state as they work overtime to recover from both the national and state mandated restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as the 4th of July weekend was to begin the governor vetoed Senate Bill 116.

That bill would, if initiated, put more people back to work and in the process get the state’s economy moving forward in advance of what many economists fear will become an economic disaster as the country hurdles towards rapid inflation.

Republican legislators, concerned with the thousands of unmet job opportunities that are stymieing, if not crippling, many small businesses across the state, sent Senate Bill 116, “Putting N.C. Back to Work Act” to the governor for his approval. This bill, narrowly passed in both chambers on a partisan vote, would withdraw the state from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation agreement.

The federal program, scheduled to end Sept. 6 of this year, provides an additional $300 weekly stipend to those receiving state unemployment compensation. That benefit, many business owners have discovered, is a dis-incentive for those receiving the benefit to go to work. And because of this, small businesses find themselves having to compete with state and federal programs that they are, paradoxically, supporting through unemployment taxes.

All the states with conservative, Republican, leadership have been withdrawing from the program over the past three months as both the national and local economies have begun recovering from the pandemic quarantines. The result is those states are seeing a resurgence in employment numbers with subsequent economic improvements.

The strong opposition to withdrawal from the federal program by most of the Democrat legislators signaled to Gov. Cooper that his veto will hold if the Republican leadership attempts a veto override. An override requires a super majority in both chambers.

It is interesting and ironic that Gov. Cooper likes to use incentives to create jobs when it comes to publicity/ribbon cutting events but has no concern about incentives that work directly against this initiative.

Over the past year and a half, as small businesses statewide have suffered under the governor’s draconian and often arbitrary business restrictions, such as the forced closure of bars, restaurants and other service providers, he has gleefully announced the planned opening of new major corporate operations. Almost all of them have been enticed to locate in the state with taxpayer funded Job Development Investment Grants (JDIG) which are ostensibly for use in low wealth counties. Many of these announced locations, contrary to the JDIG goals, have occurred in high wealth communities.

The most glaring example of the governor’s bias to large company investments was the recent announcement that computer giant Apple will locate a campus in Research Triangle Park. The company was enticed to locate here with a $485 million JDIG grant.

The conclusion of this and other similar announcements is that Gov. Cooper’s real incentive involves creating opportunities to stand with corporate titans at major publicity events that serve to increase his public image and improve his financial opportunities should he decide to run for public office in the future.

While the federal program is scheduled to end in two months, coincidentally right after Labor Day, the need for workers in both service and manufacturing industries has become acute. For our local hospitality industry the labor shortage has become so critical and hard to solve that many businesses are reducing hours of operations and services, which in turn negatively impacts the local economy. But these facts do not factor into the governor’s political agenda.

In contorted logic, the governor has given as his excuse for the continuing the federal program that, “Prematurely stopping these benefits hurts our state by sending back money that could be injected into our economy with people using it for things like food and rent.” But that also is the reason to go back to work - to earn a wage- to use the money earned “for things like food and rent.”

From a progressive Democrat’s perspective such as Cooper’s, government funds are “free money.” From a realistic perspective, government funding is not “free money” but taxpayer supported money. His argument is both illogical and dangerous.

The continued reliance on federal support only serves to degrade private enterprise which will continue to struggle with reduced services and increased costs resulting in inflationary pressures that eventually hurt the low and middle income families nationwide.

The time to let the private sector and capitalism work unfettered by government controls and largess is now. The quicker Democrat legislators accept this fact, turning from a destructive economic path and voting to override the governor, the quicker our economy will rebound with less of a long term expense. But time is running out and political pressures is needed now. Just ask any local business owner.

(15) comments

David Collins

Must be OK . Apparently the majority put him in office . Now they are reaping the fruits of the seeds they planted . Enjoy !


Had it been a gop gov. veto the editorial would have been very different. " gov. Shows his concern for constituents "

I suspect the editor has a well used special thesaurus of pejorative words for the anti Democrat editorials.


Maybe we need a disquisition of Coop’s governmental policies? Or maybe the extra $300 per week, which only lasts for 8 more weeks, will be spent in small businesses?


A nice per-election gift. "The federal program, scheduled to end Sept. 6 of this year, provides an additional $300 weekly stipend to those receiving state unemployment compensation." Make it $600. Why not?

David Collins

Of course it would have been different , if at all . A GOP Governor would not think the same way . Sadly , we just have a silly administration from DC to our Governor’s mansion . Even some foreign dignitaries are asking what is wrong with Americas president . You know , the guy with our nuclear football at arms reach . Heard a bit of this on NPR radio last Sunday , of all places . When NPR takes notice …………. . Go figure .


I listen to NPR all the time and missed this. Could you tell me which show you heard that on so I can check it out?

David Collins

Listen to NPR on weekends to get away from all the endless financial/retirement advertisement infomercials that flood the airways . Do not know the names of the NPR shows but it was a short blurb in the AM . When I say short , I mean short . Sort of in a international news format . Perhaps sandwiched between pleas for aid for yet one more Failed African Country . It is useful and at times entertaining to get insight into how the leftist do gooders think . Certainly beats any infomercial .

David Collins

PS , believe that comment was in relation to the latest meeting with European leaders . Some kind of G something perhaps . Happy sleuthing .

NPR used to be known as The Voice of America , the voice of freedom and taxpayer funded . Or so I have been led to believe . They are always begging for money but who is not these days .

Sealevel Edward

NPR was never part of or connected to, Voice of America.


Thought VOA was shut down! or merely re branded. to Worldnet? Was not the antenna removed? Or are they still broadcasting not knowing the transmitting is going nowhere?

Sealevel Edward

Just one half of the facts appear in this editorial. Yes, small businesses need workers. BUT, there is a pandemic going on. It's not over by any means. North Carolinians are dying every day. The Governor remembers this. He vetoed the Republican bill that sought to force workers back into the workplace. If you have any interest in being complete and accurate in your bashing of the Governor, state both sides. Perhaps if you took a stand and suggested that the adults of Carteret County get vaccinated, workers would be able to return to work SAFELY. We are one of the few "Red" states that have fewer than 60 % of adults vaccinated. I still wear a mask in public because ignorance is prevalent in our county. Please don't add to the disinformation by publishing only one side.

David Collins

North Carolinians are dying every day from lots of things . That has not changed in recent time . The Covid , while not a good thing , has not killed anyone I know of or are distantly related to and that is a lot of folks if you do the math . How do I know this , we keep in touch and they in turn keep in touch . The folks that want to return to work have already returned . The ones that are content to live off the taxpayers , where all money comes from , will continue till the well runs dry . The Governor , a real piece of work IMO , runs in lock step with the party machine . Biden bribe money is just fine with him . Bring it on , the more the better .

I really do not know if there has ever been a mandated national vaccination decree . Polio , measles , mumps , yellow fever , SARS and other creepiest and uglies come to mind but were they actually mandated ? As long as we still have some freedom to chose , there will always some that do and some that do not . Just the way it is . Time to man up , get back to work and exercise caution where necessary . Do not be the one folks see driving their personal car alone all masked up . A bit of overkill ?

David Collins

Ok , National Public Radio . True , I was misled and it is not part of The Voice of America . But , like VOA , it is partially government funded making it Government Radio . It also has a massive endowment which begs the question why the begging ? Due to being tainted by government appropriated money any message put forth to the public must be suspected to be political in nature . No doubt in my mind and I take it with a shaker of salt . Still way more entertaining than infomercials on a weekend . So there , my 2 cents .


The welfare of the people has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience." -- Albert Camus

To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals." ~~ C. S. Lewis


I got my vaccine but continue to wear the mask to protect me from those with "cooties."

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