Small Business Majority Comments on Blocked Senate GOP Legislation to Provide Limited COVID-19 Relief
Washington, DC — Today, Small Business Majority Founder and CEO John Arensmeyer issued the following statement after U.S. Senate Democrats blocked the Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act (S. 178), the so-called “skinny” COVID-19 relief bill led by Senate Republicans.
“Small business owners across the country have been doing everything they can to hold on over the past month of congressional inaction, using every tool at their disposal to stay afloat with the hopes that additional relief might arrive soon. Some business owners have depleted their personal and retirement savings, are behind on bills and rent, or are operating with a skeleton staff. Worse, for other business owners, the lack of additional relief was the final nail in the coffin for their business.
What happened today on the Senate floor did nothing to give small businesses any confidence that they might receive the help they need to survive, and it emphasized the urgent need for lawmakers to come together on a bipartisan solution. While the Republican plan included some important measures to help Main Street, such as extending PPP and allowing some businesses to take a second PPP loan, it was inadequate.
The pared-down legislation lacked critical measures that have been previously proposed, including a long-term 7(a) loan program that would provide low-cost loans to recovery sector businesses, and extending the SBA’s debt relief program that was provided under the CARES Act. It also failed to provide automatic loan forgiveness for PPP loans under $150,000, which has received broad support, and instead provides a more complicated version of loan forgiveness than was previously proposed by Senate Republicans. Moreover, the legislation lacked other essential components such as comprehensive unemployment insurance relief and aid to states that are important to small businesses and will garner bipartisan support.
This relief is essential for small businesses in turmoil, and it’s time for the White House and Congress to get serious about supporting these measures as part of a bipartisan package that has a real shot of passing both chambers and being signed into law.
Each passing day that Congress fails to come to a solution is another day that more businesses reach their breaking point. Congress and the Administration must reach a meaningful agreement now. The future of our small businesses and our economy depends upon it,” said Arensmeyer.
A recent survey of Small Business Majority’s network of more than 70,000 small businesses found that without additional funding, more than a quarter (26%) of small business owners will not survive past the next three months and 16% of small businesses have considered bankruptcy in the wake of the pandemic.
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is a national small business organization that empowers America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and inclusive economy. We engage our network of more than 70,000 small businesses and 1,000 business and community organizations to advocate for public policy solutions and deliver resources to entrepreneurs that promote equitable small business growth. Our deep connections with the small business community along with our scientific research enable us to educate the public about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on advancing the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequalities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.