April 10, 2020

Reed & Whitehouse Urge Trump Administration to Deliver Promised Aid to Small Businesses

19 Senators call on SBA to issue economic emergency loans and grants to small businesses ASAP

PROVIDENCE, RI – As the Trump Administration provides conflicting information to small businesses and fails to effectively implement a key federal disaster loan program, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, along with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and 16 colleagues, are calling on the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to ensure small businesses receive Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) associated with the COVID-19 crisis and the new Emergency Economic Injury Grants (EEIGs) within three days of application as mandated by Congress.

The 19 Senators penned a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza following reports that small businesses across the country are not receiving EEIG advances, despite the fact that they are eligible entities and have taken the necessary steps of applying for an EIDL and requesting an EEIG.

“Small businesses across the country are counting on this federally-mandated relief, and it is imperative that the SBA ensure they receive it efficiently and effectively,” the senators wrote. “Businesses are receiving conflicting guidance on the expected timing for receiving these critical funds, and many businesses cannot afford to wait as they try to keep their employees on payroll and pay their rent.”

The Senators also asked the SBA to clarify whether small businesses who applied for an EIDL prior to March 27, 2020, when the CARES Act was signed into law, must now reapply in order to receive it and the EEIG, and if the SBA requires additional action or resources from Congress to be able to fully execute the small business relief provisions of the CARES Act.

The Senators requested the SBA act quickly to provide clear and consistent guidance to small businesses and answer the following questions by April 16, 2020:

1.         Do small businesses that applied for an EIDL prior to the date the CARES Act was signed into law have to reapply in order to receive it and the related EEIG?

a.         If yes, please describe the steps that SBA is taking to notify all necessary applicants.

2.         What is the time frame during which eligible applicants can expect to receive an EEIG and EIDL?

a.         Will SBA notify all applicants that are not awarded funding, and how will that notification occur?

3.         In the CARES Act, Congress included EEIGs to provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an EIDL. Can you confirm that eligible applicants may still receive up to $10,000 in EEIGs?

a.         Is the SBA allocating these grants on a per-employee basis or is it otherwise distinguishing between businesses with greater or fewer employees?

b.         What other criteria is the SBA applying in its calculation?

4.         Does the SBA require additional action or resources from Congress to be able to fully execute the provisions of the CARES Act?

a.         If yes, please describe the SBA’s needs.

In addition to Reed, Whitehouse, and Wyden, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators: Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tina Smith (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Doug Jones (D-AL).


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