Since the passage of the CARES Act in March, I have been working to include SBA Disaster loans prior to 2020 be given the same debt forgiveness afforded small businesses with SBA guaranteed 504 and 7a loans through the CARES Act.
While I may have been the one to bring it to light, it takes a village to shine a light on it.
The National Restaurant Association, Texas Restaurant Association, NFIB (National Federation of Independent Businesses) both National and Texas, NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) all worked behind the scenes on this legislation.
In early June I was a Hill Day Captain as part of the Goldman Sachs 10000 Small Businesses Voices Virtual Hill Day. 2000 small businesses virtually went to Capitol Hill and talked with our lawmakers. I led meetings with Senator Ted Cruz, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, and Legislative Aides for Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Brian Babin. Our legislative priorities were:
o PPP – 2nd round because many cannot continue payroll
o Liability protections: Strengthening financial safeguards for small businesses by providing a temporary liability shield for litigation related to COVID-19
o Increase the EIDL limits back to $2 million and reopen– as with all other disasters and let other non-agriculture apply again
o EIDL interest rate seems high compared to Hurricane Harvey SBA Disaster Loans – 2017 Fed Rate was 1.25% and loans were 3.305%; when EIDL was passed in 2020 the Fed Rate was the same, but then was slashed to .25%. Based on new Fed Rate, it would be nice for those with EIDL to have a rate of 2.305%
o Write off expenses paid with PPP monies
o Include Chambers of Commerce in future legislation
o For SBA Disaster Loans prior to 2020, 6 months or more Debt forgiveness for small business as was conveyed to those with SBA 504 and 7a loans in the CARES Act – See 2 minute video – https://youtu.be/fViCglv0Udg
Senator Cruz gave 45 minutes of his time to listen (that is a very long time) to the priorities of 250 Texas small business owners. He heard our voices and introduced legislation on the Senate floor last week regarding the debt forgiveness for SBA Disaster loans. It is called the LIFT UP Act.
From the Cruz press release:
The LIFT UP Act would extend the six months of debt forgiveness provided in Section 1112 of the CARES Act to small businesses that received SBA Business Physical Disaster Loans or non-COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
So what can YOU do to help?
We need everyone to contact their federal lawmakers in every state to be sure the LIFT UP Act amendment to the CARES Act is included in the next stimulus package.
Click the link below to find all your lawmakers at all levels of government.
Your voice matters, and the introduction of the LIFT UP Act is proof, but we’re not done. We now need it to pass, and I need your help to make it happen.
Please contact your lawmakers today! Thank you.