Letter to Secretary Mnuchin: Supporting Small Business and Digital Transformation During COVID-19

By at 12 May, 2020, 12:20 pm

The Honorable Steven Mnuchin


U.S. Department of Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C.  20220


Dear Secretary Mnuchin:

On behalf of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) and our nationwide membership of entrepreneurs and small businesses, thank you for your tireless work in assisting small businesses with their unparalleled challenges as a result of COVID-19. Indeed, we know the massive response by the U.S. Treasury is a tough lift, and SBE Council appreciates the work of your team in their efforts to assist the small business community. As you know, SBE Council will continue to work with you to address the evolving needs of small businesses during the recovery period ahead.

One critical piece of information that you and your team may want to explore is the fact small businesses have turned to technology and internet tools in massive numbers to help them navigate the COVID-19 crisis and to operate during the shut-down period. As you engage with the President, fellow Cabinet members, and key policy officials at the White House on ways to further assist entrepreneurs and small businesses, we believe it is important that policy leaders and officials understand the digital transformation that is only accelerating due to COVID-19. The digital and platform-based economy is growing at an exponential rate, and the federal government must support small businesses in this regard. For example, given the vastly higher use of technology and internet tools, platforms and software by small businesses during this extraordinary period (in order to stay open, communicate, transact, collaborate, and operate virtually), we believe these technology costs are essential, and need to be specified as forgivable under PPP.

As you well know from your work on a range of tax, regulatory and other issues, one-size-fits- all does not work for the small business economy. Not all businesses are storefronts. Most are home-based, and many virtual businesses are software and platform dependent. These costs are just like “rent” or “utilities” to them. Making these expenses forgivable under PPP would provide a boost – both financially, and to their morale. Helping small businesses with their technological needs would also protect the economy from future unexpected shocks, as business owners could more quickly pivot to marketplace changes, adapt and seamlessly carry-out important functions if similar disasters take hold.

As you know, SBE Council has been providing feedback to the White House and Congress on PPP and how it can work more effectively for small businesses, as the duration of the COVID-19 crisis has extended beyond what was anticipated. Please let me know how we can more effectively work with you and your team to help meet the needs of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.


Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO





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