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U.S. Senator Gary Peters Talks Mobility, ESOPs, and Small Business Protection

Michigan Business Beat
October 9, 2017 9:00 AM


U.S. Senator Gary Peters speaks with MBN Founder Chris Holman for a periodic business update from Washington D.C.  

Several issues impacting business are among those getting the senator's focus.

Serving Michigan, Mobility is a big topic and there is Self-Driving Car Legislation. In late September, Senator Peters introduced his legislation with the Republican Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee to help advance the testing and development of self-driving cars. Much of that development has taken place in Michigan. This legislation expected to be approved by the Senate Commerce Committee.

Legislation Promoting Awareness of ESOPs: Earlier this year, Senator Peters introduced bipartisan legislation to increase awareness of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) as an employee ownership model for businesses. ESOPs are workplace benefit plans that allow employees to save for retirement while sharing in a business’ profits by ensuring a majority of a business’ holdings are owned by employees. Under an ESOP model, employees see a direct gain from a company’s long-term success by allowing employees to share in the gains when a business is profitable, and ESOPs are often formed when the business owner decides to retire – leaving the legacy in the hands of its employees. ESOPs also help reduce employee turnover.

Protecting Small Business from Fraud: Last month, the U.S. Senate approved Senator Peters’ legislation to protect small businesses from falling victim to fraud when they register to procure federal contracts. The provision would require small businesses to be notified that free assistance is available for help in procuring government contracts through federal programs, including Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs). Many businesses are unaware these resources exist and fall victim to scams that mislead them into paying high sums of money for contract procurement assistance that is already available at no-cost. Michigan is home to 10 PTACs across the state. This legislation was included in the larger National Defense Authorization Act, which sets defense policy for FY 2018.

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