Golden Pushes for New Funding, Improvements to PPP Small Business Aid
LEWISTON — Responding to concerns from Maine small businesses, Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) pushed for new changes to critical coronavirus-related small business relief programs today in a letter to House leadership. Golden also renewed his call for an additional $349 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Both the PPP and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program ran out of money today.
“Due to overwhelming need from American small businesses, the $349 billion Congress originally provided for PPP small business relief was fully distributed in about two weeks,” said Golden. “Unfortunately, this economic crisis shows no signs of slowing down. Congress needs to do the math and recognize that the PPP will need more than an additional $250 billion to continue to prevent further business closures and layoffs. The current funding levels being discussed by Congress don’t come close to meeting the true demand from struggling small businesses in Maine and across the country.”
“But more funding alone will be insufficient to put this program on the right track. The mission for my team and I this month has been to work with Maine small businesses to navigate these federal programs and make sure they have the relief and resources they need,”continued Golden. “Through that process, we’ve worked with small businesses to identify flaws in these programs — flaws that will cause some businesses to go under if they are not addressed. I called on House leaders today to provide more flexibility for the PPP program to reflect the pandemic’s effects on the workforce and the uncertainty of future economic conditions, and to make other changes that will improve this program’s ability to save small businesses and millions of jobs.”
In his letter, Golden called on House leaders to prioritize the following changes in any legislation that funds or changes the PPP program:
- Require SBA to allow PPP borrowers to defer their loan’s disbursement so that they are not left with a gap between their eight weeks of funded payroll and the June 30th FTE restoration safe harbor date or move the June 30th date forward accordingly for impacted borrowers;
- Direct SBA to relax the requirement it created to spend a minimum of 75 percent of the loan on payroll or eliminate it in favor of a different approach for determining that the program’s intent has been met;
- Because the program’s goal should be to maintain payroll for those that have been able to avoid furloughs or layoffs, or increase employment where they have already occurred, we should amend the program’s forgiveness standard for employers who successfully return employees to payroll but are unable to fully restore their FTE count, despite well- documented efforts to invite all of their employees back from furlough or layoff at full pay; and,
- Instruct SBA to explicitly include compensation paid to employees who are unable to perform routine workplace tasks due to an employer’s full or partial closure within the definition of eligible payroll costs.
Golden also noted serious delays and implementation issues with the EIDL program. He pressed for congressional oversight of the program, as well as transparency from the SBA. This week, the congressman joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to raise concerns over the EIDL program with the Small Business Administration.
Over the past several weeks, Golden and his team have been laser-focused on helping constituents, particularly small businesses, respond to the coronavirus and its economic fallout. Golden has held eight Q&A listening sessions with Mainers since the coronavirus crisis began. In the sessions, the congressman has brought public health experts, as well as representatives from the SBA, Chambers of Commerce, credit unions, and banks together to answer questions and make sure constituents have all the resources available to them. More than 9,000 Mainers have participated in Golden’s sessions.
Read a copy of Golden’s letter to House leaders here.