Brindisi Reveals Startling Statistics On Corona Aid & Announces Action Calling For Safeguards To Paycheck Protection Program
Following Passage Of Coronavirus Relief Legislation And Extension Of Paycheck Protection Program, Congressman Releases Letter Calling On SBA To Protect Aid For Mom & Pop Shops & Fight For Upstate New York’s Fair Share Of The Pot
Brindisi: The SBA Needs To Make Sure Relief Comes To Main Street Before Wall Street
Congressman Anthony Brindisi announced today his plan to reverse the startling statistics that New York state received the second lowest percentage of funding from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of any state. Brindisi slammed government waste and demanded improvements from the Small Business Administration (SBA). In a letter to the SBA, Brindisi outlined his plan to hold the SBA accountable and make sure PPP and other coronavirus relief reaches Main Street businesses.
“Washington bureaucrats often forget that the needs of Main Street aren’t the same as Wall Street,” Brindisi said. “I am demanding that the SBA work to get rural communities and small businesses the relief they need. New York state has been hit the hardest by COVID-19 and that impact is felt by our mom and pop shops, our rural communities, and small and regional hospitals. The SBA needs to do more to make sure the aid gets to where it needs to go and I am ready to fight them tooth-and-nail to protect our small businesses.”
With more than 235,000 cases and more than 15,000 deaths New York is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in America. As of Friday, there were more than 850 cases in NY-22 counties. New York has been under a statewide shelter-in-place order since late March.
The PPP was designed to help businesses maintain payroll during the nationwide pause. Congress initially allocated nearly $350 billion for the fund but that was exhausted in two weeks. Brindisi supported legislation allocating additional funds to the PPP but is demanding the SBA do more to help the hardest hit areas like New York state.
Brindisi’s congressional district is home to more than 11,000 small businesses that create more than 113,000 jobs and $4 billion in payroll.
“As you know, the PPP is a lifeline to these small businesses in New York and across this county,” Brindisi wrote. “However, as your agency moves forward implementing the additional $310 billion Congress allocated to PPP in the fourth coronavirus stimulus package, I call on you to ensure that the funds are being fairly distributed to that areas that need them most. We must ensure that these resources are being distributed equitably, especially to rural and underserved areas.”
Brindisi’s entire letter to SBA is below:
The Honorable Jovita Carranza
Small Business Administration
409 3rd St SW
Washington, DC 20416
Dear Administrator Carranza:
Thank you for your work during this unprecedented expansion of the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s portfolio to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In my district in Upstate New York there are over 11,000 small businesses employing more than 113,000 people and generating $4.0 billion in payroll. These businesses are the backbone of our economy and are profoundly struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a lifeline to these small businesses in New York and across this county. However, as your agency moves forward implementing the additional $310 billion Congress allocated to PPP in the fourth coronavirus stimulus package, I call on you to ensure that the funds are being fairly distributed to that areas that need them most.
According to recent reports based on Evercore ISI estimates of eligible payrolls, to date New York has received the second lowest percentage of PPP funding (40 percent) of any state in the nation. By comparison, some states have had more than 80 percent of their eligible payroll covered. As you know, New York has been the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, with more than 235,000 cases and more than 15,000 New Yorkers who have tragically lost their lives. There is no question that New York State residents need immediate, comprehensive relief.
The PPP is critical to preserving the nation’s millions of small businesses which comprise more than 95 percent of the nation’s employing businesses and nearly half of all jobs. They need this funding to meet payroll, make rent and mortgage interest payments, keep the lights on, and survive. But this effort is meaningless if funding does not go to the people who need it most, small businesses in hotspot areas. I am extremely disturbed to hear small businesses in my district report they were not able to receive PPP funding, even after completing the application and clearly facing extreme hardship from the pandemic. That is why I am calling for more information and answers to the following questions:
- What criteria has the Small Business Administration developed to ensure that funding is distributed equitably, including to rural areas?
- According to the most recent estimates from the SBA, only 17% of the total dollar value of PPP loans approved were for $150,000 or less. What steps is the agency taking to ensure that businesses of less than 50, 150, and 250 employees are receiving this critical support?
- How many small and rural lenders participated in PPP, what percentage of the total loans were made by small and rural lenders, and what barriers (if any) prevented these lenders from participating?
- The most recent legislation to increase funding for the PPP included a requirement that $60 billion be reserved for small and moderate sized financial institutions. How will the SBA monitor and enforce this provision, and will your office provide me with a list of the lending institutions receiving funding under this set aside?
- How can SBA ensure states like New York have a share of loans approved at least on par with the national average?
As we work to replenish the PPP funding, we must ensure that these resources are being distributed equitably, especially to rural and underserved areas. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. I look forward to your response.