This week, the Big “I” joined more than 250 organizations in sending congressional leadership a letter urging them to act now to authorize additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The additional funds for these vital loans would continue to ensure that workers can keep their jobs and small businesses can avoid bankruptcy.
The letter first thanks Congress for the prompt adoption of the PPP under the CARES Act before asking for the additional funding. In just a few weeks, the PPP has emerged as a central and effective response to the economic damage resulting from COVID-19. PPP loans are providing a vital source of liquidity to nearly one million individually and family-owned businesses whose operations have been curtailed or shut down by stay-at-home orders and other government actions taken in response to the virus. These businesses, in turn, are using the loans to keep millions of Americans on the payroll.
According to the Small Business Administration, as of this morning, the PPP had officially exhausted the $350 billion made available through the CARES Act. The loans went to nearly 1.5 million small businesses. With the program now out of money, millions of additional businesses are left without the funds necessary to keep their workers employed.
Congressional Republicans have been calling for additional funding for the PPP in the amount of $250 billion without extraneous policy riders. As of press time, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was negotiating with congressional Democrats on a potential path forward for PPP funding. Democrats are pushing for more funding for states, hospitals and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in any legislation that replenishes the PPP. The Big “I” will continue to provide updates on potential legislation as it materializes.
Wyatt Stewart is Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs.