Small Business Majority Comments on New Senate GOP Legislation to Provide Limited Small Business Relief

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Washington, DC – Today, Small Business Majority Founder and CEO John Arensmeyer issued the following statement in response to a vote in the U.S. Senate this evening on the Continuing the Paycheck Protection Program Act. Small Business Majority also released new data today that reveals 35% of all small businesses and 41% of Black and Latino-owned businesses expect they will not survive past the next three months without additional financial relief. 

“Small business owners across the country have been doing everything they can to keep their doors open over the past several months of congressional inaction, using every resource in their toolbox to stay afloat with the hopes that additional relief would arrive soon. For some business owners, the lack of assistance was the final nail in the coffin for their business. 

Small businesses need relief and they need it now, but unfortunately they will not be served by this legislation. While the Republican plan includes some measures that are needed to help Main Street—such as extending PPP, simplifying forgiveness for loans under $150,000 and allowing some businesses to take a second PPP loan—it is not nearly enough to see small businesses through this crisis, nor does it have the support needed to make it to the president's desk for his signature.  

We believe this legislation is inadequate because it lacks critical measures that have been proposed, including additional funding for the EIDL program and an extension of the SBA’s debt relief program that was provided under the CARES Act. The legislation also fails to properly address the barriers that small business owners of color faced in accessing PPP loans and will not ensure they are better supported if the program is re-launched. And importantly, the legislation lacks components that are essential for rebuilding our economy and ensuring bipartisan support.

We also know from our latest survey that more small businesses (55%) think the top priority for Congress and the White House should be negotiating on a bipartisan, comprehensive stimulus package that includes small business measures and unemployment insurance, rather than passing just a stand alone small business bill. The need for a comprehensive relief package comes at a time when small business owners are still experiencing a significant loss in consumer confidence: 45% rank reduced consumer demand as the top concern for their business right now and 15% of Black and Latino-owned businesses are still unable to reopen their businesses. 

PPP was a lifeline for many small businesses during the early months of the pandemic when they needed immediate relief, but we must look beyond the program to bolster our economic recovery. While fixing and re-starting PPP is important, our leaders must recognize that we need long-term recovery programs that will support the neediest businesses and ensure they have the tools to fully rebuild. 

It’s time for Senate leadership to join the Administration and Speaker Pelosi at the negotiating table to craft a package that has a real shot of passing both chambers and being signed into law. Each passing day that Congress fails to reach this solution is another day closer to more businesses reaching their breaking point,” said Arensmeyer. 

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 TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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