Small Businesses Eagerly Await Passage of Relief Bill

A reposted Article from the KGW8

PORTLAND, Ore — Many small businesses are eagerly awaiting the passage of a nearly $500 billion relief bill in Washington, D.C.

The first batch of money for small business loans through the Paycheck Protection Program ran out last week, which means everything is on hold until that additional funding is available.

The U.S. Small Business Administration processed 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days, totaling more than $311 billion dollars. The money went quickly, leaving thousands of small businesses still in need of financial help they cannot get until the relief bill passes.

“If you’re sitting on the other side as a small business needing that money for payroll, needing to know what are you going to tell your employees, that’s where the stress point was and we couldn’t as a financial institution, we just couldn’t get the dollars to them or the answers to them fast enough,” explained Troy Stang, the President and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association.

The Northwest Credit Union Association represents more than 175 credit unions in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. In the first round of funding, Stang said they helped 19,000 small businesses get loans to the tune of almost $4 billion. But many more businesses are still waiting.

“Even while the first round ran out, applications kept on coming in and still are coming in,” Stang explained.

The relief bill includes more than $320 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. About $60 billion of that additional funding would be set aside for underbanked businesses like those in rural and minority areas where people have trouble getting loans.

“I’m just hoping that the carve out will be enough and go far enough and deep enough for our small business environment,” Stang said.

Many expect this second round of funding will go just as fast.

“There might be a few tweaks or fine tuning on it, but for the most part Congress is reloading that program, so it should be much easier with much less delay in opening up those pipelines, and you’re right, the money may go fast, but we hope we can get answers to the frontline where answers are needed most,” Stang said.

The Senate passed the interim spending package Tuesday. The House is expected to vote Thursday. President Trump said in a tweet that if the bill passed he would sign it into law.

Posted in NWCUA in the News.