What’s the Issue?
In March, Congress passed a $2 trillion relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The CARES Act provided $349 billion in loans to small businesses through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. The goal of the program was to help the country’s 30 million small businesses pay their employees and continue to serve their communities throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The original funds were quickly exhausted, and one month later Congress authorized an additional $320 billion in funding through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. Currently, the program is set to expire on August 8, 2020, and approximately $100 billion remains in funding.
How Does This Affect Me?
Protecting small businesses from widespread permanent closure is critical. Small businesses are the backbone of our communities; they create unique entrepreneurial opportunities and provide much-needed services in our communities. Unfortunately, they are at great risk of permanently closing their doors during the pandemic if Congress does not continue to provide necessary relief.
What Can I Do?
The PPP provided critical funding for small businesses to pay their employees and stay open. Banks processed nearly five million PPP loans to small businesses, and these loans are forgivable if small businesses use the money according to the PPP loan requirements. As small businesses begin to apply for full or partial forgiveness of their loans, Congress has an opportunity to make the process easier for small businesses already navigating the challenges of the pandemic. Congress can pass legislation to expedite the forgiveness process for loans of $150,000 or less by having borrowers sign a simple form saying the funds were used appropriately. You can support small businesses in your community by asking Congress to pass legislation to make the PPP forgiveness process easy and simple for small business owners who borrowed $150,000 or less.