April 16, 2020

Van Hollen Calls For Immediate Funding, Fixes to Small Business Relief Programs

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement calling for increased funding and legislative fixes to address the needs of small businesses impacted by the coronavirus:

“Small businesses need relief and fast. I hear daily from local businesses across Maryland about roadblocks to loans and delays in receiving funds. That’s why we need to fix the problems with the Paycheck Protection Program now. Both the Congress and the Administration must immediately take bipartisan action to improve the PPP and increase funds for not just that program, but also the disaster loan and grant programs so our small businesses can weather this storm.” 

Senator Van Hollen strongly supports increasing funding for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, both of which have exhausted their funds. Last week, the Senator offered a plan on the floor of the Senate that included $250 billion for small businesses through the PPP, CDFIs, and smaller community banks, credit unions, and community-based lenders. The plan also increased EIDL funding by $50 billion to support up to $300 billion in loans and increased Emergency Economic Disaster Grant program funding by $15 billion. Additionally, the plan increased the amount of payroll that would be forgivable under PPP, updated know-your-customer rules to help small businesses without a commercial relationship with a bank, and made family farms eligible for EIDL loans and grants and PPP. Lastly, the plan provided critical support to health care providers and state and local governments, to solve the public health emergency so our economy can begin moving again.

Unfortunately, Senator McConnell objected to that plan in favor of his proposal that would only increase funding for PPP without addressing EIDL or fixing issues in PPP that have prevented some small businesses in Maryland from participating. The Congress and Department of Treasury are actively negotiating to find a solution that funds the programs and makes sure they are working for those who need the loans most. Senator Van Hollen urges all parties to address these issues immediately.

In addition to his efforts in Congress, Senator Van Hollen has repeatedly urged the Administration to fix issues within the PPP by issuing new guidance, including in a letter on April 6th and a letter sent today