U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) held a Facebook Live Q&A for 8th District small businesses on April 16, 2020, calling for an end to a stalemate that has left small businesses, hospitals and state and local governments without much-needed support to fight COVID-19.
Slotkin called for at least $250 billion in new funding for the Small Business Administration. The SBA has already gone through the $349 billion in funding provided last month in the CARES Act for the Payroll Protection Program.
“We need to get money into the SBA account as soon as possible,” said Slotkin. “The Payroll Protection Program has been successful, and we need to build on that success.”
Slotkin explained that Congress is debating whether changes are needed to ensure more businesses can access PPP funding, and whether to include additional funding for hospitals and state and local governments that are under financial strain from the crisis.
“I really believe that when Democrats and Republicans agree on something –– and we all agree that we need more funding in the PPP program –– there may be some back and forth, but it’s going to happen,” Slotkin said. “I don’t want Michigan businesses to hear that the money has run out and assume that we won’t make more money available.”
Slotkin was joined on the call by SBA Great Lakes Region Administrator Robert Scott and by Rann Paynter, president and CEO of the Michigan Bankers Association.
“She is an advocate for all of you on the phone,” Scott said during the call. “She’s a huge advocate for you.”
The call was one of more than ten small business-focused events Slotkin has held in response to the the COVID-19 crisis, including a virtual small business summit and a telephone seminar hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, as well as a needs assessment call with 8th District nonprofit groups, many of whom can also benefit from some small business programs.
On the April 16, 2020, call, Slotkin, Scott and Paynter answered questions about what small businesses can do if they have not heard back from their lender; on how various SBA and other programs apply to start-up businesses, self-employed entrepreneurs and contractors; the process SBA uses to process and make decisions on loan applications; and on loans and grants under SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.