Gardner suggests modifications to Paycheck Protection Program

Colorado Politics
May 14, 2020

By Michael Karlik

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner has suggested to his Republican colleagues that Congress add more money to the popular program giving forgivable loans to businesses during the pandemic, while also calling for restrictions on participation to companies with “significant revenue loss.”

“Specifically, set aside [Paycheck Protection Program] funding to support our smallest businesses; as well as minority-, veteran-, women-owned, and other underserved businesses that may not have an existing business banking relationship,” Gardner wrote in a letter dated May 6.

Congress created the program to funnel money to businesses for maintaining their payrolls during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than $600 billion was available, and organizations ranging from large corporations to Catholic parishes secured loans.

Among Gardner’s suggested modifications to the program were prohibitions on PPP-related credit checks affecting credit scores, expanding eligibility to nonprofits and franchises, and to quadruple the loan amount to four times a business’s monthly payroll. New loans, however, should be reserved for organizations with “significant revenue loss as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.”

Access to PPP loans has been a concern for many members of Congress as the national unemployment rate has soared to nearly 15%. U.S. Rep. Jason Crow has created a survey requesting that businesses share their experiences in accessing the federal aid.

“My office has been fielding calls non-stop from small business owners in the district who are struggling to get timely access,” said Crow. “We want to hear from small business owners so we can be the best advocate for them and push for the necessary reforms from the [Small Business Administration] and administration as a whole.”

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