November 23, 2020

Neguse Legislation to Protect Small Businesses Amidst COVID-19 Gains Momentum, Earning Bipartisan Support in the Senate

Washington D.C.— An effort led by Congressman Joe Neguse to protect small businesses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has earned bipartisan support in the Senate. Senator Angus King and Senator Steve Daines recently introduced a Senate companion to Neguse’s bipartisan EIDL Forgiveness Act, which he introduced in September alongside Congressman John Curtis. The bill would exclude the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance grant when determining forgiveness for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. The legislation clarifies that businesses that received both a PPP loan and an EIDL Advance grant can still receive full PPP loan forgiveness, regardless of benefitting from each program.   

“Small businesses are the backbone of Colorado’s economy, and for many of them, PPP loans and EIDL Advances have been their only lifelines,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “The bipartisan EIDL Forgiveness Act provides some relief to struggling small businesses when they need it most by helping them save thousands of dollars, allowing them to focus their limited resources on keeping their employees on the payrolls and their doors open. I’m glad our bill has earned the support of Senator King and Senator Daines in the Senate and look forward to getting this done to provide added stability for small business owners in Colorado.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the lives of hard-working Utahns across the state,” said Congressman Curtis. “This is especially the case for the countless small businesses that are the foundation of Utah’s economy. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Forgiveness Act is a perfect example of how we can find pragmatic, bipartisan solutions to help small businesses across the country overcome the current set of circumstances and continue serving their communities without further interruption.”

“Having my EIDL advance forgiven would be amazing!  My wife and son and I have been working day and night to keep our family run business alive,” said Gerald Trainor, owner of Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado.  “If this bill passes, it would pay for 2 months of our rent and help us save the business we have worked so hard to grow.”

“MenuTrinfo is a women-owned business that has been hit hard by the coronavirus shutdowns,” said Betsy Craig, owner of MenuTrinfo in Fort Collins. “We were grateful to receive a $7,000 EIDL advance, which we thought was a gift from the government to help us stay alive. To turn around and realize that we owed that money back because we got a PPP loan was a real punch in the gut. Every little bit matters right now.” 

“As economic conditions remain uncertain and the virus continues to spread in communities nationwide, small businesses around the country are facing monumental challenges,” said Senator King. “These small businesses are already working overtime to keep operating during this pandemic – and when they applied for vital funding under the CARES Act, they were under the impression that all of their loans could be forgiven. However, a drafting error could pose a costly, unforeseen hurdle to them that could add as much as $10,000 to their expenses. Small businesses certainly do not deserve to have the rug pulled out from under them one more time this year, which is why I will be introducing a bill to ensure that they’ll get to keep these critical funds to sustain their business. With so much uncertainty still ahead for all, this bill would allow small businesses to better weather these tough times and prepare for the future.”

“Montana small businesses and our local community banks have been drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They need relief and support right now, not to be worrying about getting stuck with unnecessary loans and payments during these hard times. That’s why we’re introducing bipartisan legislation to ensure small dollar loans are forgiven,” said Senator Daines.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established an emergency grant program, the EIDL Advance, which provided eligible businesses with $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000 to be used to keep employees on the payroll and other business expenses. If a small business received an EIDL Advance and a PPP loan, the Small Business Administration (SBA) deducts the PPP loan forgiveness amount by the amount of the EIDL Advance. The EIDL Forgiveness Act ensures that the amount of PPP loan forgiveness a small business receives shall be determined without regard to any amount the small business received under the EIDL Advance.