(Dave Loebsack’s July 9 Congressional Newsletter)
I hope this email finds you and your family in good health.
Earlier this year, when the COVID-19 pandemic first came to our nation, Congress worked to pass the CARES Act, a bipartisan bill to help ensure the health and economic stability of all hardworking Americans. Included in this bill was the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provided zero-fee loans to small businesses in order to retain employees and their salary levels. So far, PPP has guaranteed 4.9 million forgivable loans worth a combined $521 billion via 5,500 lenders nationwide.
As the program was implemented and after hearing from small business owners, it became clear that updates to the program were needed and more money was necessary for the program to be successful. I am pleased to have worked with my colleagues to make these changes and include additional funding in subsequent pieces of legislation.
Most recently, the PPP Flexibility Act was passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by President Trump. This bill extended the date past June 30 by which businesses have to rehire their employees and qualify for loan forgiveness. The PPP Flexibility Act provides additional flexibility in how the loan is spent and also extends the period in which businesses must use PPP funds to qualify for loan forgiveness from eight to 24 weeks. Furthermore, the bill allows loan recipients to defer payroll taxes on the loans they received under this program. But more must be done.
That is why I have cosponsored the bipartisan Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program (P4) Act. This bill would allow smaller PPP recipients, with significant losses due to COVID-19, to receive a second PPP loan. The small business must have exhausted, or be on pace to exhaust, their first PPP loan and certify they need the funding to support ongoing operations for payroll and eligible non-payroll costs. I will continue fighting to ensure small businesses have the resources and flexibility they need to thrive.
Unfortunately, not all the funding has gone to the folks who run and work for small businesses on Main Street. The Small Business Administration and U.S. Treasury recently released a list of who received assistance through PPP and it contained investment firms, billionaires, private jet companies and Members of Congress and their family members. This is unacceptable. These funds were meant to aid hardworking Iowans who are struggling, not businesses backed by billionaires and investment firms. I will continue working with my colleagues to exercise the appropriate oversight to ensure this program is utilized the way it was intended.
If you have questions about how the changes included in the PPP Flexibility Act may affect your small business, please contact your loan provider or visit the Iowa District of the Small Businesses Administration online at: https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/ia/des-moines.
Iowa’s Second District