Rosen Applauds House Introduction of Her Bipartisan FRESH AIR for Businesses Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, released the following statement applauding House introduction of her Filtering and Retrofitting the Environment for Safe and Healthy Activities Indoors and Revenue (FRESH AIR) for Businesses Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation, introduced in the House by Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA) and Michelle Steel (R-CA), would provide a tax credit for businesses that modernize their ventilation systems in order to reduce the transmission of airborne diseases, including COVID-19.

“As a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, one of my top priorities is to help Nevada’s small businesses manage and overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19,” said Senator Rosen. “I am glad to see Rep. Bourdeaux and fellow lawmakers in the House introduce this important bipartisan legislation to provide our businesses with a tax credit to upgrade their air ventilation, filtration, and purification systems. By making our indoor spaces safer for customers and workers, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19, help boost consumer confidence, and keep businesses afloat. I will continue working alongside my colleagues in Congress to provide Nevada businesses and entrepreneurs the support they need to not only succeed, but thrive.”

BACKGROUND: Last Congress, Senator Rosen, alongside Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND),  introduced the bipartisan FRESH AIR for Businesses Act. In January, Senators Rosen and Cramer re-introduced this legislation.

This bipartisan legislation is endorsed by the National Restaurant Association, the International Franchise Association, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Small Business Roundtable, Honeywell, the Vegas Chamber, the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce, the Nevada Urban Chamber of Commerce, and the Latin Chamber of Commerce Nevada, Inc., and the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce.

The bipartisan FRESH AIR for Businesses Act would provide a refundable tax credit to businesses and nonprofit organizations that purchase or upgrade their air ventilation, filtration, or purification systems to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne diseases.

Specifically, the FRESH AIR for Businesses Act would:

  • Provide businesses with a refundable payroll tax credit of up to $15,000 per location to cover 50 percent of qualified HVAC purchase, installation, or upgrade expenses incurred between February 1, 2020 and January 1, 2022.
  • Covered expenses include:
    • Purchasing, installing, or upgrading HVAC systems designed to filter air at a rate of MERV 13 or higher, which use UV-base purification, or which provide fresh air supply of at least 17 cubic feet per minute per occupant and have the ability to direct air to minimize air exchange between neighboring zones,
    • Purchasing standalone air cleaners and purifiers capable of providing at least 5 air changes per hour and using HEPA filters, UV-based purification, or EAC or ionization technology.
    • Purchasing related components such as HEPA filters and UV lights.
  • Direct the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control to jointly establish a voluntary certification to ensure systems meet high standards, reward businesses that create safe indoor environments for consumers and workers, and increase consumer confidence in returning to local businesses.