U.S. Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Fred Upton (MI-6) today led a group of lawmakers in sending a bipartisan letter to Congressional leadership urging Congress to fully fund the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) so long as small businesses need this critical funding. 74 members signed the letter.
“Congress must expeditiously and indomitably act to remove arbitrary funding barriers by having a plan to fully fund the PPP, at an appropriate level ensuring each and every entity eligible for the program receives the funds they need,” the members wrote in a letter this week. “The business community and financial institutions must be allowed to continue to distribute these desperately needed dollars to small businesses, which form the economic core of our communities. We cannot continue to kick the can down the road.”
In less than two weeks, the PPP has funded nearly 1.6 million loans for countless small businesses, which quickly depleted the original $350 billion appropriated by Congress in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act. Congress yesterday passed an additional $250 billion for the PPP.
“Congress should have a plan going forward to ensure that our businesses have the assurance they need that we will be there for them throughout the duration of this crisis,” the members added.
“The PPP is critical to saving American jobs, especially in the travel industry, which supports employment for one in 10 U.S. workers. Replenishing PPP funds and helping those who need it most is necessary to help businesses keep the lights on and retain their employees. It is critical that the economy is primed for the moment when consumer demand returns and recovery can begin. We thank Congressmen Upton and Gottheimer and all the signers of this letter for working to provide continued relief for so many livelihoods in every corner of the country,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy at the U.S. Travel Association.
“SBA loan programs have been a lifeline for Realtors fighting to continue serving clients and paying employees during this crisis. While our 1.4 million members find innovative ways to get Americans into new homes without jeopardizing public safety, NAR is focused on ensuring Realtors® and the real estate industry are in the best possible position to lead in our nation’s upcoming economic recovery. We’re grateful to Congress for moving to secure programs like the EIDL and PPP, which keep small businesses, independent contractors and the self-employed afloat until that time,” said Vince Malta, the President of the National Association of Realtors.
“This new funding should help those who need it most – small businesses and their employees. 75% percent of franchise owners employ fewer than 20 people, and 89% of franchise owners have not received funding. It’s also likely that this second round of funding won’t be enough to satisfy small business needs. IFA hopes that companies with access to other funding options refrain from using the PPP to preserve it for the small businesses, franchise or otherwise, who need it most,” said Matt Haller, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs at the International Franchise Association.
“ICBA thanks Congress for passing this critical legislation restarting the Paycheck Protection Program with an additional $310 billion and dedicating at least $60 billion of the funds for loans from community financial institutions. As relationship lenders, community banks look forward to continuing to utilize the PPP to continue meeting the needs of the Main Street small businesses we serve,” said Rebeca Romero Rainey, President and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America.
“Thanks to Reps. Upton and Gottheimer for their call to ensure a level playing field for increased access to PPP funds for businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. America’s credit unions are ideally positioned to help the Main Street businesses in communities they serve, and by removing barriers to those funds, those businesses can continue to pay workers and meet other costs,” said Jim Nussle, President and CEO of the Credit Union National Association.
“I am proud of America’s banks and their tireless efforts to help small businesses across the country keep millions of workers on their payrolls through the Paycheck Protection Program. However, we know there is still great demand for this program and not every business that needs a PPP loan will be able to get one. We applaud Congressmen Upton and Gottheimer and the more than 60 other lawmakers that signed this bipartisan letter for their efforts to help even more small businesses during this challenging time,” said Rob Nichols, President and CEO of the ABA.
A copy of the letter is available HERE, the text of which is provided below.
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy:
The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is a solemn promise from Congress to America’s small businesses to provide the resources to mitigate some of the economic harm caused by the coronavirus pandemic. PPP provides certainty and builds a bridge from where we were prior to this crisis to where we are going to be on the other side. Nevertheless, given unprecedented need, the initial $350 billion investment in our nation’s small businesses has been depleted in less than two weeks.
These vital resources have funded over 1.6 million loans representing paychecks and certainty for tens of millions of Americans who are self-employed, sole proprietors, or work for a small business. We are grateful for your work adding an additional appropriation to replenish PPP but more must be done. Congress should have a plan going forward to ensure that our small businesses have the assurance they need that we will be there for them throughout the duration of this crisis.
In 2018, the Small Business Administration estimated that there were nearly 6 million small businesses in the United States and an additional 24 million non-employer firms (independent contractors, self-employed, sole proprietorships, etc..). The 1.6 million approved loans represent just 5% of the total number of potentially qualified firms. As this health crisis continues to unfold, it will be very difficult to quantify the current (or future) demand for the PPP. Moreover, logistical and safety concerns hamper Congress’s ability to continually meet and vote in a stopgap manner on continuing to bolster PPP.
Congress must expeditiously and indomitably act to remove arbitrary funding barriers by having a plan to fully fund the PPP, at an appropriate level ensuring each and every entity eligible for the program receives the funds they need. The business community and financial institutions must be allowed to continue to distribute these desperately needed dollars to small businesses, which form the economic core of our communities. We cannot continue to kick the can down the road.
We need to continue our promise to all of America’s small businesses and we must deliver real results for all our constituents and mitigate, to the best of our ability, the economic harm this health crisis has created.
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS