WASHINGTON – Today, House Committee on Small Business Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH) spoke on the House floor in support of the third package in response to the coronavirus, the CARES Act, and its provisions in support of small businesses.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
I thank the gentleman for yielding. Mr. Speaker, this is a critical time in our nation’s history. People are worried about their own health and that of their loved ones. They are wondering how long this new way of life will last. But people across our great nation are pulling together. I have seen the response in my own district in Ohio.
From the bold leadership of Ohio’s governor, Mike DeWine, and Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton; to the brave health care workers on the front lines at facilities like the University of Cincinnati Medical Center; and the local companies who have volunteered to produce much-needed personal protective equipment. These men and women are heroes, risking their lives and livelihoods so that their fellow citizens may continue to live as comfortably and normally as possible during this trying time.
As the Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business, I want to single out the contribution of our small businesses. For those that have had to temporarily close or that are bravely staying open to provide life-sustaining supplies: I want you to know that there is help in this bill. We have come together in this legislation to help our entrepreneurs who so urgently need it.
Small businesses and their employees rise before the sun and retire under the stars to ensure their customer’s needs are met, and often exceeded.
Along the way, the Small Business Administration, or SBA, is charged with assisting the nation’s smallest firms. When disasters strike the nation, the SBA also helps businesses get back on their feet.
As we face the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19, we must ensure small businesses have the resources available to weather this storm. They are being forced to make tough choices to protect themselves, their employees, and customers. They’re laying off staff who are like family to them, cutting hours when workers need them most, and closing their doors after years or even decades of successful operation.
To alleviate these enormous pressures, the CARES Act creates a new program specifically designed to respond to the current crisis. That program, the Paycheck Protection Program, provides 350 billion dollars for 100-percent, federally guaranteed loans for up to eight weeks of assistance. These loans can be forgiven when used for payroll, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities.
The CARES Act also creates a deferment process on current 7(a) Loans. The SBA will pay all principal, interest, and fees for up to 6 months. These payment obligations will be completely forgiven and removed from a borrower’s books. Finally, the bill permits small business owners who have applied for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan to request an advance of up to 10,000 dollars to cover essential expenses.
These are necessary measures that will help our smallest and most vulnerable firms survive during these dark days. As this event continues to unfold, I am certain that we will all pull together to ensure America’s small businesses triumph in the face of extraordinary crisis. I yield back.