|Congress passes emergency relief for small businesses, health-care workers, increased testing|
|Major legislative relief update from Congress:|
The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act passed Congress and was signed into law today, April 24. I voted to usher this emergency package into law, and am eager for it to reach Southwest Washington small businesses that are making decisions about whether they can continue to pay employees, hospitals and front-line health care workers.
Here are some of the steps the bill takes:
– $310 billion to replenish the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which will allow small businesses to receive forgivable loans to cover the cost of payroll and operating expenses.
– $60 billion for the Small Business Administration’s economic injury disaster loans and grants, including:
– $50 billion for economic injury disaster loans
– $10 billion for grants of up to $10,000 that do not have to be repaid
– $75 billion to support front-line health care workers and keep hospitals operational.
– $25 billion to expand testing, which will provide additional information on where cases are occurring, and support efforts to reopen communities and get folks back to work.
There is not a single person who’s avoided the impact of this public health crisis. I know countless Southwest Washington small businesses, workers and health care workers have been impacted severely.
While this relief package included $310 billion in much-needed funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, the SBA exhausted the original $350 billion allocated in the CARES Act in loans in just two weeks. It’s clear this program will continue to be in high demand, which is why I introduced legislation with my colleague, Rep. Derek Kilmer, to authorize $900 billion exclusively for the Paycheck Protection Program. Small businesses need to have the certainty that this program will continue to be accessible to them as long as they need it in this current crisis.
For additional COVID-related information, unemployment benefits, and other resources, please visit my web page, JHB.house.gov/coronavirus.
I’m also posting regular updates on my Facebook, Twitter & Instagram pages.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me here.
Please stay healthy and safe, and let me know if I can be of assistance.
Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress