Paycheck Protection Program
“Where you find humans in crisis, you also find humans willing to help. And we will devote the rest of this hour to those running towards the fire,” declared a CBS documentary on the coronavirus pandemic. “We begin with Marco Rubio. The Cuban-American Florida Republican Senator is a lead author of the Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to be a lifeline for companies struggling amid the pandemic.”
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Supporting small businesses is nothing new for U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, but that support took on a heightened importance when the coronavirus pandemic hit America. Using his position as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Rubio created the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
keep employees on the payroll
The unprecedented forgivable loan program managed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) was designed to keep employees on the payroll during the initial public health lockdown and smooth the way for the safe reopening of America’s small businesses. Not only did the PPP prove to be the largest, most popular, and bipartisan provision of the federal coronavirus response, it was also incredibly effective.
All told, more than 5.2 million small businesses received nearly $800 billion in PPP loans, which kept tens of millions of Americans on payroll through the worst of the public restrictions. “Rubio went all-in on [the] small-business program that has become the centerpiece of an economic-revival push,” reported the Washington Post.
An analysis by the Brookings Institution found the PPP “succeeded in its short-run goals, including helping smaller firms withstand sharp revenue declines during the shutdown and keeping workers connected to their employers.” According to one expert, it was “the single most effective fiscal policy ever undertaken by the United States Government.”
Congressional Budget Office analysis found that the PPP was “projected to quicken the pace of the recovery by limiting the number of business closures and preserving relationships between employees and employers” and alone increased GDP by a nearly a whole percentage point. In Florida alone, the program supported more than 6.1 million jobs and pumped $50 billion into the economy.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Rubio used his position on the Small Business Committee to ensure small businesses could not only survive in the global economy, but also thrive.
In 2019, Rubio introduced the SBA Reauthorization and Improvement Act — the first comprehensive reauthorization of the Small Business Act in nearly two decades — which would modernize and streamline programs at the SBA. The landmark legislative package was designed to ensure America’s small businesses are able to compete in the face of geopolitical threats from countries like China by aligning the SBA’s programs with 21st-century technology and solutions. Rubio also worked to ensure small businesses and the SBA have the cybersecurity infrastructure needed to protect their data and intellectual property from hackers and foreign operatives, and he worked to provide small businesses with access to capital to spur innovation and support new startups.
Throughout his two terms, Rubio has fiercely advocated for small businesses in Florida attempting to recover from natural disasters, fought against the draconian overregulation of America’s small businesses, and secured passage of critical legislation to spur investment in Florida and strengthen the Main Street economy. He will continue to stand alongside small businesses for as long as he is in office.