During Senate Small Business Committee Hearing, Rosen Discusses Her EIDL for Small Businesses Act, How Congress Can Support Minority-Owned Businesses

Watch Senator Rosen’s full remarks here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen spoke with business leaders about her recently introduced bipartisan EIDL for Small Businesses Act, as well as the lack of access to capital and other issues that minority businesses enterprises (MBEs) or minority-owned small businesses have experienced during the coronavirus pandemic, and how Congress can best provide assistance.

Over the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has devastated small businesses in Nevada and across the country and put millions out of work. Many minority small business owners in Nevada were particularly hard hit due to a lack of access to capital,” said Senator Rosen. “Congress stood up emergency lending programs to fill in these gaps, but my office has heard countless stories from minority-owned small businesses struggling with SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).”

That is why earlier this week, I introduced, along with Senator Cornyn, bipartisan legislation to address this problem – the EIDL for Small Businesses Act,” Senator Rosen continued. “This bipartisan bill would prevent the SBA from imposing any arbitrary limits on EIDL and EIDL Advance, including providing $10,000 grants to all eligible small businesses, regardless of their size. It also would appropriate $100 billion for EIDL and $80 billion for the EIDL Advance program.”

“As you know, the EIDL Advance program has run out of funds. I know that business owners in Nevada feel that this is a particular problem. Ken Evans, President of the Urban Chamber of Commerce in Nevada supports my effort. He said ‘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.’ Can you please discuss why it is so important to recapitalize the EIDL and EIDL Advance programs, and why it is critical that our smallest and most vulnerable minority-owned small businesses receive the full $10,000 grants, regardless of their size?” Senator Rosen asked Ron Busby, President and CEO of U.S. Black Chambers Inc.

BACKGROUND: Earlier this week, Senator Rosen, along with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced 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 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.