Tuesday, Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) and Madeleine Dean (PA-04) introduced new legislation to significantly expand the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program to ensure that every qualified small business is able to access the critical assistance they need to retain their workforce and cover basic operating costs for the full duration of the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
“Small businesses across our region are making critical decisions right now about whether to shut down or weather the storm of this pandemic. The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to help our main street employers keep folks on payroll and ensure working families have the support they need,” said Rep. Kilmer. “There is tremendous need in our communities to ensure this program is a success – so today we’re introducing a bipartisan plan to provide more help to these small businesses, increase access, and ensure this program is adequately funded for the immediate future.”
The Paycheck Protection Program, which was created in the third COVID-19 emergency relief package, provides forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on the payroll.
The Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act:
- Ensures support for small businesses continues through the duration of the pandemic.
- Creates an extension mechanism that puts little to no burden on small business owners while protecting taxpayer interests by establishing clear, commonsense limitations.
- Defers repayment of any remaining loan balance for the duration of the pandemic.
- Provides adequate funding to effectively mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic on small businesses.
“There isn’t a single employer or small business in Southwest Washington that has avoided the impact of COVID-19, and this crisis has hit those operating on thin margins and small reserves especially hard. I advocated for the creation of the Paycheck Protection Program to keep small businesses afloat and employees on payrolls, but it needs to be accessible for all the businesses that need it for the duration of this crisis,” said Rep. Herrera Beutler. “I’m partnering with Rep. Kilmer on this legislation to increase lending capacity of the Paycheck Protection Program by $900 billion, and give small businesses in Southwest Washington the tools to emerge from this crisis with the stability and workforce to reopen their doors.”
“My team and I have spoken with a number of small businesses about the economic impact of this unprecedented crisis, and I gladly lent my support for this legislation to expand PPP access to ensure every qualified small business received the needed assistance,” said Rep. Dean. “This bipartisan legislation will help all small businesses retain their workforce and cover their basic operating costs, and I thank Rep. Kilmer and Rep. Herrera Beutler for their leadership.”
Last week, Reps. Kilmer and Herrera Beutler urged the U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Small Business Administration to take steps to improve the Paycheck Protection Program and increase access to loans for small businesses being impacted by COVID-19 across Washington state. The lawmakers called on the agencies to improve the operability of the loan application system, issue additional guidance to improve clarity for lenders, and enhance responsiveness to lenders and borrowers.