Washington, D.C., July 1, 2020–Congress’s vote to extend the Paycheck Protection Program until Aug. 8 is positive for the country’s small businesses but the fact that it was necessary shows the Administration has bungled its handling of the program and there is much more work needed to help Main Street survive this crisis.
“It’s good they extended the PPP because help is desperately needed on Main Street. But the fact that there was $130 billion left in the fund is a testament to the Administration’s failure to implement this program in a way that will help all struggling small businesses,” said Shaundell Newsome, Co-chair of Small Business for America’s Future. Small business owners are hurting, but the confusion and constantly changing rules around the PPP has scared them off at the worst possible time. There is a lot more work our policymakers need to do to help small businesses survive the pandemic. We need to make this money much more easily accessible to truly small businesses and we must automatically forgive PPP loans under $150,000. We also need a long-term plan from the federal government for reopening safely so small businesses don’t suffer from a yo-yo effect of openings and closures that will make their survival much more tenuous.”
Candace Combs of In-Symmetry Spa in San Francisco, who received a PPP loan but has not been able to use most of it because her business continues to be shut down, says a lack of federal leadership about reopening businesses safely is jeopardizing the ability of small businesses to recover.
“Without strong leadership from the top, our Main Streets could become Ghosts Towns,” Combs said. “Unfortunately, we have not gotten that leadership and things are looking grim for small businesses.”
Small Business for America’s Future calls on policymakers to:
- Forgive all PPP loans of $150,000 or less
- Greatly simplify the PPP loan forgiveness process for small businesses that have loans of less than $2 million
- Create no-strings-attached recovery grants for small businesses with 20 or fewer employees, which comprise 89% of all small businesses in the country
- Rescind IRS Notice 2020-32 and make wages, rent, and other expenses paid with PPP money tax deductible as Congress intended
- Resist making refundable certain business tax credits that will overwhelmingly benefit large corporations under the guise of helping small businesses
A recent survey of more than 1,200 small business owners shows entrepreneurs continue to struggle with the impacts of Covid-19, with 53% saying they have taken on new debt due to the crisis and nearly a quarter saying they have considered closing permanently. In addition, 54% of owners said they disapproved of the Trump Administration’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis and 57% say the administration’s response has favored big businesses.
Small Business for America’s Future has numerous small business experts and small business owners across the country available for interviews.
TO REQUEST AN INTERVIEW: Conan Knoll, firstname.lastname@example.org