CONGRESSWOMAN ANGIE CRAIG URGENTLY PUSHES FOR IMMEDIATE FIXES TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES
U.S. Rep Angie Craig, a member of the House Small Business Committee, today continued her push for changes to the small business loan programs to help struggling businesses, especially restaurants and retail outlets hit hardest by the economic consequences of the pandemic.
Rep. Craig is calling on her colleagues to set politics and grandstanding aside and pass the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act immediately to fix the challenges businesses have in the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Disaster Injury Loans. Craig is a co-sponsor of this bill.
“I’ve talked with hundreds of small business owners and their stories are all the same, these programs need to be adjusted if they are to save as many small businesses as possible. We urgently need changes to these programs like extending the forgivable loan period, extending the loan payback period and eliminating the requirement that 75% of the loan must be used on payroll to be forgiven. In addition, we need increased transparency so we know that these programs are helping the mom and pop shops we intended to help,” said Rep. Angie Craig. “We came together across the aisle to enact the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan advances, which were set up with Congressional intent to help small businesses get through the enormous burdens resulting from COVID-19. We can and must come together swiftly to make sure our intent of helping businesses is successful by adapting these programs to fit their needs. The time to act is right now.”
In March, Rep. Craig brought the needs of small businesses to the table by introducing the Small Business Relief Guaranteed Loan Program Act of 2020 which introduced the idea of interest-free, forgivable loans in response to COVID-19. The CARES Act included this concept to create the Paycheck Protection Program. She has taken several steps to improve these loans, including:
- Making sure the program was funded by requesting and securing funds to replenish the SBA loan programs in the CARES Act.
- Urging for flexibility by pushing leadership while they were crafting the Heroes Act to include PPP flexibility by way of extending the June 30th deadline to use loan funds, elimination of the 75/25 rule and extension of the loan repayment, all of which were included in the Heroes Act.
- Calling for more transparency on who the PPP loans like who is getting approved and who isn’t, where are the loans going and how many of the recipients are minority, women or veteran-owned businesses in her cosponsorship of the PPP Data Diversity and Accountability Act of 2020. Rep. Craig continues to push on making sure the Congressional small business relief programs are reaching mom and pop shops.
- Recognizing the unique needs of each business, including the need for some businesses to purchase supplies and goods previously tax exempted that began to be taxed to recipients of the PPP loan, Rep. Craig cosponsored the Protecting the Paycheck Protection Program Act of 2020, which would correct this and was included in the Heroes Act.
- Continuously pushing for answers from The Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration on PPP to hold the agencies accountable for the program.
As a member of the House Small Business Committee and through her many conversations with small businesses in the Second District, Rep. Craig is helping to push forward a bill to match small businesses who can pivot and fill the need of replenishing personal protective equipment supplies.
“I will not stand by as we see more and more restaurants and small businesses close their doors permanently. I ask all of my colleagues to set partisan politics aside and work together on real solutions for every Main Street across the country,” said Rep. Angie Craig.