U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called on Congress to pass legislation to extend the Small Business Debt Relief Program that has delivered relief to 320,000 small businesses heavily concentrated in the service industries hardest hit by the pandemic. The Small Business Debt Relief Program was authorized under the CARES Act with $8 billion for America’s smallest, most at-risk employers. The program provides six months of principal, interest, and fee payments on all preexisting, deferred, and new 7(a) loans, 504 loans and microloans to those unable to make their payments. Senator Gillibrand has cosponsored the Small Business Debt Relief Extension Act to extend this vital debt relief through at least February 2021 for all borrowers, and the bill proposes additional extensions for businesses struggling the most.
“The economic devastation caused by the pandemic is unprecedented — from the city to our rural communities, thousands of small businesses are at risk of not surviving this crisis. ‘Mom and pop’ shops are the lifeblood of New York’s economy and our recovery depends on their ability to continue providing jobs and services in our neighborhoods,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Small Business Debt Relief Program has already supported thousands of New York’s businesses. Just like the PPP program, it must be extended to help those who are still struggling to weather this ongoing crisis. I’m proud to support the Small Business Debt Relief Extension Act led by Senators Coons and Cardin.”
Specifically, the Small Business Debt Relief Extension Act would:
- Extend debt relief payments for all small businesses with an SBA-backed loan for five months, through February 2021. That includes 7(a) loans, 504 loans, and microloans.
- Provide an additional seven months of debt relief for highly vulnerable businesses, including all those with a Community Advantage or microloan and those with a regular 7(a) or 504 loan that operate in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic: educational services; arts, entertainment, and recreation; accommodation and food services; and charter buses.
- Extend the availability of debt relief on new SBA-loans for a full year, to include those approved through September 2021. This will provide an ongoing incentive for small business growth and job creation in all sectors.
- Ensure debt relief benefit is associated with no tax liability for any participating business.
- Improve program integrity and transparency, by increasing required SBA reporting to Congress and communication with borrowers.
- Require no new spending by Congress, as it will draw upon funds already appropriated under the CARES Act.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.