Rosen, Cortez Masto, Colleagues Introduce the HEROES Small Business Lifeline Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a member of the Senate Committee on Finance,  joined Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business Committee in introducing the HEROES Small Business Lifeline Act. This comprehensive small business package would provide much-needed support for small businesses, live venues, and restaurants across the nation to help weather the economic storm caused by COVID-19.

“Small businesses are the economic engine of our communities and they need our support during these unprecedented times,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to co-sponsor the HEROES Small Business Lifeline Act, a comprehensive small business package that would reauthorize and expand the Paycheck Protection Program, recapitalize the EIDL grant program, remove the U.S. Small Business Administration’s arbitrary caps on EIDL loans to ensure that eligible small businesses receive increased disaster loan funding, and authorize funding to help revitalize our live venues and restaurants in need. I will continue working on legislation to help small businesses in Nevada and across our country weather this economic storm.”

“Nevada has been one of the hardest hit states by the economic devastation of the coronavirus,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Small business owners need access to loans to pay rent, retain their employees and retool their businesses to safely adjust to the changes needed to safely operate during this difficult time. I’m working to pass the HEROES Small Business Lifeline Act in order to help these struggling neighbors in our communities throughout Nevada, and across the entire country, get access to the critical grants, EIDL and PPP loans they need and ensure that veteran, women and historically-disadvantaged small business owners can also access the relief they need to stay open.” 

BACKGROUND: The HEROES Small Business Lifeline Act incorporates provisions from Senator Rosen’s bipartisan EIDL for Small Businesses Act, which would prevent the SBA from imposing EIDL loan caps that are less than the program’s statutory $2 million maximum loan size and allow current EIDL borrowers to modify their loan to seek additional funds up to the $2 million maximum loan size. The bill also:


  • Extends PPP authorization through March 31, 2021, and allow for unspent U.S. Department of the Treasury funds to be used for PPP once the program’s funding is exhausted;


  • Extends the Small Business Debt Relief Program’s authorization, which would provide additional monthly payments and interest relief for small businesses with outstanding 7(a) loans, 504 loans, microloans, and 7(a) Community Advantage loans;


  • Provides $50 billion for EIDL grants, $40 billion of which will be used for the Lifeline Grant program, and $20 billion of those funds would be awarded to businesses located in low-income communities and businesses owned or controlled by a veteran, an economically disadvantaged individual, or a socially disadvantaged individual;


  • Includes the Save our Stages Act, bipartisan legislation Rosen and Cortez Masto co-sponsored, which would authorize $15 billion for the SBA to make grants to eligible live venue operators, promoters, theatrical producers, motion picture theatre operators, or talent representatives to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain live venues; and


  • Includes the RESTAURANTS Act, bipartisan legislation Rosen and Cortez Masto also co-sponsored, which would create a $120 billion revitalization fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and made available to restaurants, food stands, food trucks, food carts, caterers, saloons, inns, taverns, bars, lounges, or other similar businesses that are part of a group of restaurants of 20 or less.