Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware; Ben Cardin, D-Maryland; and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, announced March 25 their $17 billion Small Business Debt Relief Act is included in the third COVID-19 response package that is expected to be passed into law soon.
The legislation ensures that every small business with a loan backed by the Small Business Administration is relieved from loan payments — including principal, interest and fees — for the next six months.
SBA loans currently support 854 small businesses across the state of Delaware.
Coons and Cardin introduced the legislation March 18 and fought to include it in the stimulus package.
The bill helps the 320,000 small businesses across the country with SBA-backed loans. The SBA will make six months’ worth of those businesses’ loan payments — both principal and interest. This will stabilize the SBA lending portfolio and enable lenders to focus on getting hundreds of billions in new emergency loans out the door, putting a floor under part of the economy heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Small businesses in Delaware and across the country are already facing devastating impacts from the economic fallout of COVID-19,” said Coons, a member of the Senate Small Business Committee and ranking member of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the SBA. “We have no time to waste to help small businesses and the millions of employees whose livelihoods are at stake right now. By stabilizing the existing portfolio of government-back business loans, this legislation enables lenders to provide new, emergency loans more quickly and more extensively. This is a new tool, bolder even than measures used during the Financial Crisis, and I’m optimistic that it will provide the relief that small business owners desperately need during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Small Business Debt Relief Act is endorsed by the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders, the Friends of the SBA Microloan Program, the Center for American Entrepreneurship and the National Association of Development Companies.