Friday, U.S. Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) led a bipartisan group of 29 lawmakers in calling for urgent action and clarity from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist small businesses being impacted by COVID-19 and related containment efforts.
“Congress approved $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, including $20 million for the Small Business Administration and up to $7 billion in low-interest disaster loans to assist small businesses impacted by this public health crisis,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is our responsibility to ensure that small businesses across the country know that we are looking out for them.”
The letter asked SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza to do the following:
- Provide a clear process for how states can work with the Small Business Administration to officially declare a disaster for coronavirus-related economic injuries to small businesses
- Develop and communicate a clear process for small businesses who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus to access economic injury disaster loans
- Provide direction to Congress on what steps are being taken by the Small Business Administration to deliver assistance as quickly as possible
- Compile and communicate a repository of additional resources that are available to assist small businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus
Last week, Rep. Kilmer led a provision included in the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act to allow up to $7 billion in loan subsidies to be made available by the Small Business Administration to help small businesses, including shellfish growers, trade-dependent manufacturers, and others that have been impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The full letter can be found here.