Watch Senator Rosen’s full remarks here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship focused on examining the implementation of the COVID-19 small business relief programs, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) questioned U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza on the SBA’s borrower caps on Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and EIDL Advance Grants, which were created to bring relief to small businesses in Nevada and across the country.
“Over the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has devastated small businesses. In Nevada, 99 percent of our business is small business. In Nevada, we also have, unfortunately, the highest unemployment rate [in the nation] at over 28 percent, up 24 percentage points from last year. It is clear that the steep unemployment rate is a reflection of the overall state that the pandemic has had on small business,” said Senator Rosen. “My office has directly helped more than 560 of these small businesses with their questions about the CARES Act; but one common complaint we have received repeatedly is about the SBA’s $1,000-per-employee cap on EIDL Advance grants and its $150,000 cap on EIDL loans; that’s a 93 percent reduction from the $2 million level authorized in the CARES Act.”
“Many Nevada businesses have contacted my office telling me that the $150,000 just isn’t enough, it doesn’t provide enough support, and they will likely have to close their businesses,” Senator Rosen continued. “These borrowing caps were not the intent of Congress when we passed the CARES Act. They weren’t part of any deal for that small business owners thought when they applied for their EIDL support.”
“Why has SBA placed that $150,000 borrowing limit on EIDL loans and how did SBA come up with this number?” asked Senator Rosen.
BACKGROUND: Earlier this year, Senator Rosen led a bipartisan group of nearly 30 Senators in a letter to U.S. Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza urging SBA to comply with Congressional intent for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and EIDL Advance programs by providing the $10,000 advance within three days as required by the CARES Act, removing the per-employee cap on advance grants, and restoring the maximum loan amount to $2 million.