ICYMI: From the House Floor, Hill Applauds Bipartisan Move to Extend the Paycheck Protection Program
WASHINGTON D.C. — Yesterday, Rep. French Hill (AR-02) congratulated the House of Representatives on extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
"I congratulate the House on concurring with the Senate on extending the PPP program date until August 8th. This will help small businesses all over our country."
Watch Rep. Hill’s remarks HERE or by clicking on the image below.
On Monday, Rep. Hill and Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp, and published an op-ed in in The Hill about why the PPP needed be extended and how it has been a lifeline to Arkansas businesses and families. Their full op-ed is below.
The CARES Act created the extremely successful Paycheck Protection Program which has helped small businesses maintain payroll during these challenging times. The U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and over 5,000 lenders took quick action to launch this program and have provided an unprecedented 4.8 million loans.
However, since its launch on April 3, 2020, the program has gone through many iterations of regulatory guidance creating significant lender and borrower confusion. The Treasury and the SBA have released 21 interim final rules and 47 frequently asked questions over 17 different releases.
The National Federation of Businesses (NFIB), which represents small businesses, reported their PPP webinars have consistently had upwards of 10,000 attendees. Previously, if a webinar received 1,000 attendees, it was considered very well-attended.
Similarly, lenders have expressed grievances. As Eduardo Sosa, an SBA Lending Senior Vice President from Amarillo Bank, stated in his testimony before the House Committee on Small Business on June 17, 2020, “As an experienced lender, I’ve never once fully understood how to make a PPP loan from beginning to end—and still don’t.” Congress has tasked lenders as the conduit for this funding. However, given the changing landscape, lenders are understandably frustrated. As a result of this confusion, lenders are now reticent to underwrite new loans – the opposite of what our economy and small businesses need.
The deadline to apply for the PPP is June 30, 2020, but an additional $140 billion of PPP funds remain unobligated. To ready our small business, lenders and entrepreneurs for learning how to “live with the virus” and move towards reopening, we recommend Congress take action on the following:
In addition to the PPP, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is also flawed in its delivery. The EIDL program is another SBA program that benefits small businesses which has been granted over $70 billion in funding by Congress. It desperately needs significant improvement in the approval process, borrower communication and transparency. Earlier this month, the NFIB reported that only 36 percent of members who applied for an EIDL had received it.