Washington, D.C.— Today, House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) led nine Democratic committee members in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell regarding steps the agencies can take to better assist small businesses, sole-proprietors, and self-employed individuals as they take steps to support the overall economy.
“With more than 90% of Americans being told to stay home to ‘flatten the curve’ of infections, the American economy has essentially been shut off,” wrote the lawmakers. “Restaurants, hotels, bars, retail stores, barber shops, dance and yoga studios, gyms – practically every segment of the small business sector is suffering immeasurably. The recently passed emergency package will provide some relief for small businesses and their employees through grants under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and loans under the Paycheck Protection Provisions (PPP). However, both Treasury and Federal Reserve play an important role in supporting small businesses.”
On April 9th the Federal Reserve announced that it was taking action to provide an additional $2.3 trillion in loans to "households and employers of all shapes and sizes” in order to bolster the overall economy. With small businesses bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis, committee members recommended several steps the Treasury and Federal Reserve can take to ensure that aid is reaching and providing relief to vulnerable small businesses. In the letter, committee members urged the agencies to provide capital to underserved businesses, increase liquidity to small banks by purchasing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from lenders, and mandate that large corporation’s receiving federal aid treat their small business partners and suppliers fairly.
Chairwoman Velázquez was joined on the letter by: Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations; Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) Chairman, Subcommittee on Innovation and Workforce Development; Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL); Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN); Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA); Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY); Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) Vice-Chair, Small Business Committee; Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) Chairman, Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access; and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS).