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Rubio, Cardin Write SBA to Ensure Small Businesses Affected by Coronavirus Receive Disaster Loans

Mar 6, 2020 | Press Releases

Miami, FL — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, sent a letter to Jovita Carranza, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), asking for the agency’s plan to work with states to approve Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for entities affected by the novel coronavirus as per the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, signed into law by the President today. 
“We are writing to find out how the Agency is communicating with small businesses about the availability of these loans and to ensure that SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance properly approves governor’s certifications of economic injury loss for this unique, unprecedented infectious disease outbreak” the senators wrote. “We expect that the agency will use the authority Congress has provided to assist as many businesses that are experiencing economic hardship due to coronavirus as possible.”
 
The full text of the letter is below. 

Dear Administrator Carranza:
Today, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 into law. As you are aware, the new law includes additional funding for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make low interest loans to eligible entities that have been impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), as part of the existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. We are writing to find out how the Agency is communicating with small businesses about the availability of these loans and to ensure that SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance properly approves governor’s certifications of economic injury loss for this unique, unprecedented infectious disease outbreak. 

Under section 7(b)(2)(D) of the Small Business Act, to trigger access to EIDLs, a governor of a state may certify to SBA that small business concerns “(1) have suffered economic injury as a result of such disaster, and (2) are in need of financial assistance which is not available on reasonable terms in the disaster stricken area.” The legislation Congress passed explicitly deemed COVID-19 to be a disaster under section 7(b)(2)(D) of the Small Business Act. We expect that the agency will use the authority Congress has provided to assist as many businesses that are experiencing economic hardship due to coronavirus as possible. Given the unique circumstances of this infectious disease outbreak, we would appreciate answers to the following questions by Friday, March 13, 2020:

  • How is SBA communicating with small businesses and resource partners about the availability of these loans?
  • What guidance has SBA offered to states in navigating the certification process?
  • Has the SBA considered how supply chain disruptions may influence economic injury?

As you have made clear disaster assistance is one of your top priorities as Administrator, we look forward to your prompt response on how the agency intends to work with states to deliver assistance to eligible entities that suffered economic injury due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Sincerely,