WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, 100 organizations supporting African American, Latino and immigrant-owned businesses called on the Department of Treasury, the Small Business Administration and Congressional leaders to enact immediate changes to ensure that relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) gets to the business owners who need it the most.
Organizations signing on include the Center for Responsible Lending, Local Initiatives Support Coalition, American Business Immigration Coalition, Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE), U.S. Haitian Chamber of Commerce, Inc., United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., Opportunity Finance Network and dozens of other organizations.
The letter was sent to Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen, SBA Administrator-Designate Isabel Guzman and Congressional leaders and articulates a particular concern. Despite improvements to the structure and implementation of the PPP, sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed people continue to have difficulty accessing sufficient relief because of the way loan amounts are determined for microbusinesses.
Changes in the rules for the latest round of funds provided a remedy for this issue for the small farmers and ranchers who faced this same challenge, but other microbusinesses are still not able to take advantage of this fix.
The $800 billion PPP had structural flaws since its inception that favored larger, more well-resourced businesses. While recent rounds of funding have included improvements that removed some barriers, others still remain that present challenges for the smallest businesses, disproportionately owned by people of color. The organizations are asking for a simple fix to the rules to address this lingering barrier.
In this public health and economic emergency, we must do all we can to make sure our small businesses have the support and assistance they need to weather the crisis. That must be especially the case for our very small and underserved businesses, including in communities of color...
Businesses of color are a substantial source of income and employment in communities of color—accounting for 8.7 million jobs at total annual payroll of $280 billion, and $1.3 trillion in revenue—yet they were almost entirely excluded from the first round of funding in the PPP due to structural flaws with the program.
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