Representatives Chuy García, Sylvia Garcia and Danny Davis Call on Administration to Issue Clear Guidance on Paycheck Protection Program

April 13, 2020
Press Release

Chicago, IL- Representatives Jesús “Chuy’ García (IL-04), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Danny Davis (IL-07), and 21 other Members of Congress sent a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of the Treasury urging them to issue final guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and to conduct proactive outreach in underserved and minority communities.

“Small businesses in underbanked communities and local lenders trying to compete with big banks are already facing significant barriers to participation in the PPP loan program. Our letter calls on the SBA and Treasury Department to release final guidance so that all borrowers and lenders play by the same rules,” said Congressman Chuy García. “This relief program should not widen existing access gaps for borrowers and lenders, which is why we additionally urge the SBA to conduct proactive outreach in underserved and minority communities like the ones we represent. Small businesses and lenders in my district deserve the same opportunity to participate in PPP.”

“In the battle to combat the COVID-19 virus we have learned the critical importance of ‘flattening the curve’ and that the key to ‘flattening the curve’ is ensuring that everyone participates in social distancing. As we now turn to combatting the economic devastation caused by COVID-19 the key to success is once again ensuring that everyone participates -- everyone in, no one out -- is critical to our economic recovery. Currently our small and medium sized enterprises, for-profit and non-profit, especially in minority communities and economically impacted communities, are being left out. This is a disaster for our communities and for the economy as a whole. It is imperative that we break down the barriers to access to the economic lifelines in the CARES Act. The cost of each day’s delay will, like the virus itself, increase exponentially without decisive federal agency action,” said Congressman Danny Davis.

“As the CARES Act gets implemented, particularly as it relates to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), we have a responsibility to ensure that small businesses in underbanked communities and local lenders have access to the capital they need to get through this crisis and that they are not forced to compete with large financial institutions,” said Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia. “As the nation recovers from this pandemic, communities of color and low-income communities must not be forgotten or ignored throughout this process. This is why the SBA must immediately offer clear guidance that will empower local lenders to help small businesses in underbanked communities with keeping their workers on payroll through PPP,” concluded Congresswoman Garcia.

A copy of the letter is below and can also be found here.

Dear Administrator Carranza and Secretary Mnuchin:

We write to urge that guidance be provided to financial institutions so that small businesses, nonprofits, and other eligible entities for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have full access to the forgivable emergency loans created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.Dear Administrator Carranza and Secretary Mnuchin:

 Although we were glad that the CARES Act included much-needed financial relief for small businesses, some financial institutions have not yet begun offering PPP loans due to the lack of guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury). Other financial institutions are only offering loans to existing customers. These issues exacerbate existing access gaps for borrowers and lenders alike and create an additional hurdle for small businesses that most need help.

Therefore, in order to ensure broad participation in PPP and to create a clear structure by which all lenders, not just large institutions, can confidently participate in PPP, we urge SBA and Treasury to:

  • Finalize guidance for lenders so they can get funds to borrowers immediately;
  • Conduct proactive outreach, including to underserved and minority communities, offering experts who can help borrowers and local lenders determine if a borrower is eligible to apply for a PPP loan and help calculate the loan amounts and expected forgiveness.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter and we look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

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