Kuster, Pappas Urge Pelosi, McConnell to Increase Funding for Small Business Assistance
Concord, N.H., April 7, 2020
Today, Reps. Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging them to increase funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at the Small Business Administration (SBA). This program was created by Congress to provide small businesses and non-profits with low-interest loans that could be forgiven if the recipients used the funding to maintain their payrolls for eight weeks. On Monday, after the loan program had been active for less than 72 hours, the SBA announced that it had approved 100,000 loans valued at $30 billion, nearly 10% of the funding authorized by Congress.
“I have heard from New Hampshire small businesses, independent contractors, and non-profit organizations about the importance of the Paycheck Protection Program and the need for additional support to protect the wellbeing of our economy,” Kuster and Pappas wrote. “Congress should act with foresight and increase funding for the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure that eligible Granite Staters are not inadvertently locked out of this program.”
Reps. Kuster and Pappas have advocated for robust resources for the Small Business Administration throughout the COVID-19 crisis. They encouraged leadership to increase funding for the disaster loan program at the SBA during the start of the crisis, and supported the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that created the PPP, when it passed the House in March. They have also worked with the rest of the New Hampshire delegation to ensure the Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration develop clear guidelines for the PPP.
The full text of the letter can be found here or below.
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McConnell:
As you consider legislative action to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we urge you to provide additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) within the Small Business Administration (SBA) to protect small businesses in New Hampshire and across the country.
Since Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, our offices have received overwhelming interest in the PPP from small businesses, independent contractors, and non-profit organizations. This reflects both the promising nature of this program and the need to provide additional financing and liquidity to small businesses over the coming months.
We were troubled to see that SBA’s Interim Final Rule on the program included a note that loans would be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. While this is the most effective way to get loans out the door, it implies that should eligible entities apply for this program in the coming weeks or months, they may be unable to receive funds due to oversubscription. We do not know how long our society must endure the necessary, but economically challenging measures put in place to “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of COVID-19. Congress should therefore act with foresight and ensure that businesses are not inadvertently locked out of this program due to lack of funding.
We also encourage you to consider extending the time SBA is authorized to guarantee loans from June 30, 2020 to July 31st, 2020. Regions of our country are experiencing this crisis at varying speeds, and businesses throughout New Hampshire have been impacted in different ways. By extending the working timeline for this program, Congress can offer a potential lifeline to eligible entities in regions that are not currently experiencing as severe impacts because of COVID-19, as well as seasonal businesses that do not fully understand the impact COVID-19 may have on their operations.
Thank you for your attention to this request.