Washington, D.C.— Today, the House Small Business Committee, chaired by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), approved legislation to provide small businesses with $50 billion in emergency aid to recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The bill now goes to the House Budget Committee to be included in a comprehensive aid package.
“After suffering through this pandemic for nearly a year, millions of small businesses are on the brink of collapse. Surveys show that one in three small business owners will not survive the next few months without additional financial support,” said Chairwoman Velazquez. “Small businesses have made it clear they require big and bold relief measures to make it through this crisis. On this committee, It is our duty to deliver this relief as quickly as possible. This bill will fulfill our obligation to America’s entrepreneurs and help them advance on the road to recovery.”
In 2020, the United States suffered the worst decline in active business ownership rate on record. So far in the new year, conditions for small business owners remain fraught. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index declined to an eight-month low in January. The committee’s proposal would provide funding for existing efforts like the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program while also creating a new $25 billion grant program for struggling small restaurants. The bill would send over $1 billion in funding to the Small Business Administration for administrative costs to help programs operate more effectively.
The bill also includes provisions to:
Expand Paycheck Protection Program eligibility and increase program funding
Allocate $15 billion for the Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance program
Provide $25 billion for a new program at the SBA offering assistance to restaurants and other food and drinking establishments.
Establish the Community Navigator pilot program to increase awareness of and participation in COVID-19 relief programs
Provide an additional $1.25 billion for the SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program
Appropriate $840 million for administrative costs to prevent, prepare and respond to the COVID–19 pandemic, including expenses related to PPP, aid to Venues, and grants to restaurants.
Fund $460 million for the disaster loan program
Allocate $25 million for SBA’s Office of Inspector General for oversight, to remain available until expended.
Click here for a copy of Chairwoman Velázquez’s opening statement.