September 23, 2020
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:
America’s economic recovery depends in large part on the strength of our communities and on the vitality of small business. Today, many of our communities and our small businesses are at a crossroads. The pandemic and public health measurers necessary to combat it are preventing many businesses from fully reopening and have left millions of Americans out of work.
The initial support provided by the CARES Act was welcome and supported millions of businesses and families, but the expiration of some CARES Act programs and the differing challenges presented by reopening require additional and different support.
The Save Small Business Coalition and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce encourage Congress to enact a “Phase 4” bill that among other items, includes:
Paycheck Protection Program Extension and Enhancement:
• Broaden the definition of forgivable expenses to include costs associated with protecting employees and customers and expand the period during which expenses qualify for loan forgiveness.
• Simplified good faith certification for loan forgiveness of loans under $150,000.
• Expansion of eligible borrowers to include all non-profits including 501(c)(6) organizations with no more than 300 employees as long as PPP funds are not used for lobbying.
• Authorization of a second round of loans for small businesses experiencing revenue reductions of 35% or more.
• Provide $1.3 billion to assist job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services through a combination of new and existing programs.
Business Liability Protection:
• Protection from COVID-19 related exposure liability for those employers who follow applicable federal, state, or local government guidelines for the protection of their employees and/or customers.
• Protection from liability claims arising from COVID-19 medical care for healthcare workers and facilities.
State and Local Aid:
• Assist state and local government’s experiencing one-time COVID-related expenses and revenue shortfalls based on fixed share of actual costs and revenue shortfalls within an overall funding cap.
There are other important policies that should also be included in any final package, but inclusion of these priorities will go a long way towards ensuring that small businesses bruised by COVID-19 will rebuild and provide the innovation, job-creation, and community-building force behind a complete American economic recovery. We urge Congress to take swift action to protect Main Street.
Save Small Business Coalition
U.S. Chamber of Commerce