State Policy Network

Protecting State Economies and Jobs During the Coronavirus Crisis

Solutions from the States

How states and communities can help local businesses and people through economic uncertainty

The coronavirus is taking its toll on the economy. With businesses shutting down and millions of people on their way to the unemployment line, Americans want answers and relief in this uncertain time. What will the economic effects of this crisis be? What can states do to help their citizens get by? Will the federal stimulus package help? State think tanks are providing valuable insight on these questions and offering solutions to help Americans, businesses, and state economies weather this crisis.

How to use this page

SPN is updating this page daily to share the latest solutions, recommendations, and resources from across the Network. If your organization has a state solution or policy resource to share with the Network, please send it to us at

Three solutions to revitalize state economies

America needs a plan to jumpstart the economy, and states must drive local economic growth. As policymakers look for ways to reopen businesses and resume normal commerce, they can accelerate recovery by embracing the following reforms:

1. Keeping state budgets funded, balanced, and able to provide core services by reprioritizing government spending to focus on crisis response.
Policymakers should seek solutions that produce balanced budgets during this time of financial stress in order to seed the ground for future entrepreneurship, job creation, and economic growth.

2. Giving American families and businesses financial peace of mind through tax relief.
Burdensome taxes challenge families and businesses in good times. They put jobs and business survival at risk in bad times.

3. Boosting job creation and innovation by cutting red tape.
Entrepreneurs suffocate under red tape. Millions of Americans will soon need to find new jobs, and state leaders can grease the wheels of innovation and job-creation by removing red tape that leads to uncertainty and increased costs of doing business.


Get our full solutions guide for states

Steps that states are taking to alleviate economic stress

Ohio expands unemployment to shield residents from the worst economic impacts

The Buckeye Institute | March 23, 2020

Ohio has taken steps to reduce some of the economic harm caused by the coronavirus, including expanding unemployment coverage to include those forced to quarantine, and eliminating the waiting period and job search requirements to apply for and receive unemployment benefits.

Connecticut defers loan payments

Yankee Institute for Public Policy | March 18, 2020

To mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus, Connecticut has allowed the Department of Economic and Community Development to defer loan payments for 800 or so small businesses that have loans from the state.

More policy recommendations from state think tanks

As the coronavirus upends the economy, there are policies that states can enact to mitigate the economic burden and protect jobs. To help American families, state think tanks recommend the following policy proposals.

Note: While this list is organized by state and its local state think tank, many of these solutions apply across state lines.

Additional Recommendations

Comprehensive Toolkits and Guides from State Think Tanks

Alaska: Alaska Policy Forum

Georgia: Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Iowa: Tax Education Foundation of Iowa

Kansas: Kansas Policy Institute

New York: Empire Center

Pennsylvania: Commonwealth Foundation

South Carolina: Palmetto Promise Institute

Tennessee: Beacon Center

Texas: Texas Public Policy Foundation

Wisconsin: Badger Institute, MacIver Institute, and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty