Rosen, Cornyn Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Increased EIDL Loans and EIDL Advance Grants, Assist Nation’s Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) announced their introduction of the Ensuring Increased Disaster Loans (EIDL) for Small Businesses Act (S.4227). This bipartisan legislation would assist the nation’s small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by providing an additional $180 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. The bill would also prohibit the Small Business Administration (SBA) from arbitrarily capping EIDL loans below $2 million – the threshold set by Congress – and require SBA to provide $10,000 EIDL Advance grants to all eligible small businesses, regardless of size, as intended by the original CARES Act.

“As we work to address the impacts of COVID-19 on our economy, we must take further steps to support small businesses in Nevada and across the country who are in urgent need of assistance,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill that would provide additional funding to the EIDL and EIDL Advance programs, as well as eliminate SBA’s arbitrary and harmful caps on loans and grants available to eligible small businesses. Many of our state’s most vulnerable businesses are minority-owned, and this additional support will help to provide a lifeline, allowing many of Nevada’s minority small businesses to keep their doors open. I will continue working in Congress to develop forward-thinking solutions that support our small business community during this crisis.”

“As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on our economy, Texas’ small businesses are bearing a tremendous financial burden,” said Senator Cornyn. “The EIDL program has helped many businesses keep their doors open during the pandemic, and this legislation would help make sure they are able to receive the full assistance they need to stay afloat and help get our economy back on track.”

“Small businesses need assurance that SBA’s disaster loan program can serve as a life-line to survive the COVID-19 pandemic” said Tom Sullivan, Vice President, Small Business Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “This bipartisan legislation provides certainty for Main Street who are looking to SBA for help.”

“We strongly support Congressional efforts to provide a wide array of capital solutions amid this catastrophic health and economic crisis,” said John Stanford & Rhett Buttle, Executive Directors of Small Business Roundtable (SBR). “The EIDL program provides business owners the certainty they need for long term, low interest loans to recover and continue their role as America’s economic engine. We commend Senators Rosen and Cornyn for their leadership and urge EIDL funding and improvements in the next Coronavirus package.”

“We commend Senators Rosen and Cornyn for introducing the EIDL for Small Businesses Act,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). “This important, bipartisan legislation will ensure hoteliers have continued access to the Small Business Administration disaster relief programs, which are a critical lifeline for small businesses during times of economic crisis. The leisure and hospitality sectors have lost 4.8 million jobs since February, and this much-needed legislation will help hotels open their doors and keep the lights on so that we can rehire, retain, and support our valued employees.”

“The Vegas Chamber applauds Senator Rosen for introducing the Ensuring Increased Disaster Loans (EIDL) for Small Business Act.  This important legislation will provide more capital to small businesses that are in true need of help, while also giving them greater flexibility in how to spend those funds to support their business and employees’ jobs,” said Mary Beth Sewald, President and CEO of the Vegas Chamber.

“The Urban Chamber and the small, diverse businesses we represent greatly appreciate the ongoing support and advocacy by Senator Rosen. The EIDL for Small Businesses Act will help our businesses secure much needed capital to counter the impact of COVID-19 in the Southern Nevada region,” said Ken Evans, President of the Urban Chamber of Commerce 

“The Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce applauds Senator Rosen’s laser-like focus on small businesses that make up the heart of our business community and provide the goods and services relied upon by our residents,” said Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce. “We’re encouraged by this bill and hope that Congress fully recognizes the significant burden borne by small businesses during the pandemic and will shoulder for years to come. We urge immediate passage.”

“The Henderson Chamber supports Senator Rosen’s bipartisan bill to replenish EIDL funds to meet small business demands while also providing those organizations the opportunity to apply for aid,” said Amber Stidham, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Henderson Chamber of Commerce. “Many of the chamber’s main street employers throughout Southern Nevada could use this renewed EIDL program as an opportunity to meet non-payroll expenses that are associated and required with operating their business in a more flexible way during a time in which they still need support to rebuild their operations.”

“Anything and everything we can do for the small business community should be priority one; They are the engine that drives our great country,” said Peter Guzman, President of the Latin Chamber of Commerce.

BACKGROUND: Soon after the CARES Act became law, the U.S. Small Business Administration placed arbitrary caps on EIDL loans and EIDL Advance grants. Currently, EIDL loans – low-interest loans that can be used to cover small business operating expenses – have been capped at $150,000 per business, instead of the congressionally mandated maximum of $2 million. Additionally, the SBA placed caps on EIDL Advance grants to small businesses of $1,000 per-employee (up to $10,000), rather than the congressionally mandated $10,000 for every eligible small business.

As of last week, the EIDL Advance grant program has run out of funding and small businesses are no longer receiving this relief.

In April, Senator Rosen co-lead a letter along with Senator Cornyn urging the SBA to eliminate its self-imposedcaps on EIDL loans and EIDL Advance grants.

Senator Rosen directly brought these concerns to SBA Administrator Carranza and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin during a Small Business Committee conference call earlier this year, and on June 10thSenator Rosen publicly questioned the SBA Administrator and Treasury Secretary on the SBA’s limits on EIDL and EIDL Advance.

The bipartisan Ensuring Increased Disaster Loans (EIDL) for Small Businesses Act (S.4227) would:

        Provide $100 billion in appropriations for EIDL;

        Provide $80 billion in appropriations for EIDL Advance;

        Prohibit the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator from placing maximum caps below $2 million on Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which have a maximum loan amount of $2 million, as established by the CARES Act. Under the bill, all eligible small businesses shall receive EIDL funding in the amount calculated using SBA’s current EIDL formula, up to $2 million;

        Prohibit the SBA Administrator from placing limitations on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance. Under the bill, all eligible small business shall receive the full $10,000 grant provided by the CARES Act, regardless of size;

        Require EIDL Advance grants to be disbursed to eligible small businesses within three business days of request and not be contingent upon approval for a Economic Injury Disaster Loan; and

        Require SBA to submit a monthly report to the House and Senate Committees on Small Business and Appropriations on 1) the status of the Disaster Loan Account, including obligations, allocations, and amounts undistributed/unallocated; 2) allocations, obligations, and expenditures for all open disasters; and 3) an estimate of when available appropriations will be exhausted.