Lowey Highlights Administration’s Neglect of Small Businesses for which Relief was Established
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, recently sent a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza highlighting SBA’s mismanagement of many aspects of the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), EIDL Grants, and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. This letter requests an oversight briefing call with Administrator Carranza and clarification on how much federal support is required to meet the needs of small businesses eligible for these programs. “During this unprecedented pandemic, we need to ensure better and fairer distribution of relief for small businesses and qualifying nonprofits seriously impacted by COVID-19,” Congresswoman Lowey wrote. “Our local small business owners and nonprofit leaders are working tirelessly to keep their doors open and their staff on payroll. It is imperative that the House Appropriations Committee has a frank discussion in an oversight briefing call with SBA Administrator Carranza.” By providing a $60 billion carve-out for smaller lenders within the additional $310 billion for PPP loans in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, Congress sent a clear message: small business funding should be going to businesses that are actually small. Yet, the SBA’s implementation has left small business owners and nonprofit leaders without clear guidance or sufficient notice to access the relief they need. “Administrator Carranza tweeted an alert to eligible lenders with asset sizes under $1 billion that they would have exclusive access to the SBA PPP portal from 4:00 PM – 11:59 PM EST that same day,” Congresswoman Lowey wrote. “A comparable alert with less than 24 hours’ notice from Secretary Mnuchin was posted to Treasury’s website. One tweet and one statement just mere hours before a one-time processing opportunity for small lenders with no guarantee of future opportunities are an unacceptable failure on your part to support the small businesses and nonprofits for which this set-aside was designed.” In addition to asking for future PPP processing windows for small lenders, Congresswoman Lowey asked Administrator Carranza for specific information on the SBA’s estimates for additional resources to meet the needs of eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 and urged guidance PPP borrowers can rely on to ensure compliance with loan forgiveness terms.