Herrera Beutler working to improve federal small business assistance programs

There isn’t a single employer in Southwest Washington who has avoided the impact of COVID-19, with many small businesses being hit especially hard. I pushed for the creation of the Paycheck Protection Program in the CARES Act passed by Congress. However, after speaking with many small businesses in Southwest Washington, it’s clear Congress can and should do more to make sure it’s working for employers here. 

That’s why I partnered with my colleague, Rep. Derek Kilmer, to introduce the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act, to expand access for qualified small businesses so that they can obtain critical assistance to retain their workforce and cover basic operating costs during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here’s how my Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act improves the PPP:

– Allows small businesses to extend their loans for an additional 8 weeks, with little to no burden on the small business applicant.

– Extends the authorized period for the PPP, which is currently June 30, until 30 days after the national COVID emergency declaration is no longer in force.

– Defers repayment of any remaining loan balance for the duration of the pandemic.

– Provides adequate funding to the PPP — $900 billion — to make sure the program has much greater capacity to help all impacted small businesses. 


Pushing for flexibility to ensure the PPP is working for small businesses:

I’m also pushing for greater flexibility of PPP guidelines to ensure the program is working for Southwest Washington small businesses. I joined with some of my colleagues to formally urge House leadership to make the following improvements to the PPP. You can read our letter here.

The changes we requested:

– Relaxing the requirement that 75 percent of the loan be spent on payroll costs.

– Provide additional guidance for borrowers that try but are unable to rehire employees by June 30, 2020, and work to extend that date. 
I’ve spoke with numerous small businesses who are concerned they will not meet the June 30 deadline, which would negatively affect their loan forgiveness.

If you are having trouble accessing PPP loans, or are running into roadblocks, I would like to hear about it. Please contact me here. My knowledgeable staff and I stand ready to assist you and help answer your questions.

Sincerely,

Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress