Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and folks stay at home to flatten the curve, they are being decimated. Many businesses aren’t operating while others are at limited capacity. Most have seen a significant drop in revenue.
Congress passed the CARES Act, which included new programs to help our small businesses. The Paycheck Protection Program was rolled out under the Small Business Administration (SBA) to loan money so small businesses could continue paying employee payroll and utilities—and to ensure our economy is ready to pick up where we left off once this virus is contained.
Rolled out in record time, there were some growing pains and confusion. Overall though, the program has done what it was created to do—get loans to businesses so they can stay in business.
Since the program began on April 3rd, 1.6 million loans have been processed and the $350 billion dollars that was allocated for the program is heading to help small businesses. In Missouri alone, over 46,000 loans were approved at more than $7.5 billion. Because of that demand, the program is out of money and the SBA is no longer accepting applications.
As if things weren’t frustrating enough for business owners, this just adds to it—and it’s something we should’ve already fixed. Last week, we tried to add $251 billion to the program so it could continue without any delay. That move was blocked in the Senate by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
I don’t think things could be clearer at this point. This obstruction has to stop. Our small businesses are hurting, and they need to be able to access this program now. While we work to reopen the economy, we need to get the Paycheck Protection Program back up and running again as quickly as possible—to help American small businesses survive this pandemic and help American workers continue providing for their families.