PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

SBE Council Urges All U.S. House Members to Sign Discharge Petition for a Vote on Needed Capital for Small Businesses

By at 28 September, 2020, 9:37 am

NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C.  – In a letter sent to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives today, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan warned about the potential closure of millions of small businesses and why it is important to take immediate steps to modify and extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) program. In the letter, Kerrigan wrote that “doing nothing is simply not an option” and is why SBE Council supports the current discharge petition being circulated in the U.S. House. If the petition obtains 218 signatures, a vote on H.R. 8265 would be required, which is legislation that contains bipartisan provisions to modify, extend and enhance PPP.

“As an advocate for small businesses, we support a range of options to get hurting small businesses the capital and support they need now to survive and navigate the economic challenges imposed by COVID-19.  Small businesses and the local communities that depend on these businesses for jobs, goods and services, tax revenues and more cannot wait any longer. H.R. 8265 includes provisions supported by both parties, and if negotiators cannot come together on a larger package it is only sensible that Congress immediately address the critical needs of small businesses to keep local economies intact. Every member of the U.S. House should support the discharge petition to deliver small business relief and support right now,” said Kerrigan.

As Kerrigan noted in the letter (full text provided below), while SBE Council supports a wide range of legislative measures and solutions to help small businesses with their short and long-term recovery needs, “given the constraints on time and congressional action, and the urgent need to deploy capital immediately, SBE Council stands in full support of the discharge petition.” PPP has a significant amount of funds not being used since the program ended on August 8, and the fixes proposed by H.R. 8265 are common sense solutions supported on a bipartisan basis.

“Extending and modifying PPP along with other needed solutions are long overdue. SBE Council will continue to support both Republican and Democrat solutions alike, and the use of legislative tools in the House and Senate to deliver this relief. If House members support small businesses, they will sign the petition and then vote for H.R. 8265,” added Kerrigan.

On September 27, 2020, 23 House Democrats sent a letter to their congressional leaders signifying that they may sign the discharge petition, as it is “the only potential option for COVID-19 related action on the House floor” if a reasonable bipartisan deal cannot be reached.

TEXT OF SBE COUNCIL LETTER SENT TO THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

September 28, 2020

Dear Member of the U.S. House of Representatives:

As you are well aware, the very survival of millions of small businesses is threatened by the impact of COVID-19. Local economies depend on these small businesses, and employees and local governments alike will feel the sting of lost wages and tax revenues if another big wave of closures take place. That is why the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) believes Congress must produce legislation that will aid struggling small businesses right now and why we support the discharge petition on H.R. 8265.

As you may be aware, SBE Council is advocating for additional recovery measures, including lifting the caps on the EIDL loan program, the establishment of a long-term recovery loan program, putting in place a co-investment fund that matches local investment capital with funds raised on regulated crowdfunding platforms, among other initiatives. However, given the constraints on time and congressional action, and the urgent need to deploy capital immediately, SBE Council stands in full support of the discharge petition. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has a significant amount of funds that are being unused, and the fixes proposed by H.R. 8265 are common sense solutions supported on a bipartisan basis.

The practical modifications proposed in H.R. 8265 align with the current needs of Main Street businesses. These include the expansion of forgivable expenses such as PPE and cloud-based platform costs, both of which are essential given COVID-19 restrictions imposed on small businesses and the need for social distancing. Moreover, the PPP second draw provision along with flexibility in the 8-week window for loan forgiveness, simplifying the forgiveness process, and allocating PPP funds for the smallest of businesses and for institutions serving minority and underserved small businesses will be a lifeline to these businesses that need help now.

As I noted in a recent Small Business Week op-ed in Morning Consult, hundreds of thousands of small businesses have been shuttered by COVID-19, with more to come: “One report estimates 3.5 million closures over the next two months, and possibly 7.5 million closures over the next five months.”

Doing nothing is simply not an option!

As you well know, SBE Council has supported, and is supporting, legislation proposed by Democrats and Republicans alike. When we review these proposals, it is all about small businesses. The discharge petition on HR. 8265 is a necessary and practical step to support our hurting small businesses and their workers. We strongly urge you to sign the discharge petition on H.R. 8265 in support of our nation’s small businesses and their employees.

Sincerely,

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO

 

CONTACT: Karen Kerrigan, kkerrigan@sbecouncil.org

SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 25 years, SBE Council has worked on and advanced a range of private sector and public policy initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for strong startup activity and small business growth. Visit www.sbecouncil.orgfor additional information. Twitter: @SBECouncil

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