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Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, released the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act, a $300 billion small business emergency economic relief plan that will help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic make payroll and cover expenses.
The Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act is Division A of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. A section by section can be found here and a one pager can be found here.
“The economic uncertainty and potential global impact we are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic are unprecedented,” Chairman Rubio said. “America’s more than 30 million small businesses — and the 59.9 million individuals they employ — today face the prospect of going bankrupt. They face this threat due to no fault of their own, but because of a global pandemic that takes human lives and grinds productivity to a halt. The Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act is the best path forward to help businesses and their employees endure this catastrophic disruption. Congress must set aside our normal procedural and partisan games to act without delay.”
“Every day, I am hearing from small businesses in my state that are on the verge of going under as a consequence of the coronavirus. The plan that Senator Rubio and I have authored would help make sure that businesses that were thriving before the pandemic as well as their employees are able to make it through this crisis,” Chairman Collins said. “In the last three days in the State of Maine, there were more claims for unemployment compensation than all of March last year. That shows that businesses are already feeling the cash-flow problems, seeing declining revenues, losing customers, and being forced to lay off their employees. That is why we feel so strongly that we must act and we must act immediately. I believe that we can come together to address this urgent problem.”
“We are going to have to pay what it costs to contain this disease,” Chairman Alexander said. “And one effective way to do this is to help small businesses faced with closing to stay open and keep Americans on their payroll.”
Specifically, the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act:
Industry experts from the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAAGL) and the National Small Business Association (NSBA) agree that Congress must act immediately on providing relief for small businesses.
"Small businesses and their employees are suffering — now," President & CEO of NAGGL, Tony Wilkinson said. "Congress needs to take swift action to provide additional assistance through proven programs like the SBA 7(a) program where SBA has a decades-old partnership with thousands of private sector lenders that are located across the country. These banks are ready to start getting to work on keeping our small business community supported."
“Maintaining small-business cash-flow and liquidity will be key to enabling successful small businesses to get to the other side of this crisis,” NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken said. “Time is of the essence — small businesses need help NOW, and I believe that SBA is ready and fully equipped to get this critically important program off the ground quickly. But Congress must act soon.” McCracken continued. “I implore lawmakers to look not only at what happens the first two weeks, but what happens two and three months down the road: an employee may get paid leave off for two weeks, but have no job at all when things finally normalize,” stated McCracken. “Most small businesses exist on very narrow margins and simply don’t have the scope necessary to float the business indefinitely. Any package enacted into law must recognize that reality and provide meaningful relief.”
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