Congressman Panetta Co-Introduces Too Small To Fail Act to Address Urgent Needs of Small Businesses and Workers on the Central Coast

March 23, 2020
Press Release
$350 Billon Small Business Lending Bill Provides Cash Advances and Zero Interest Loans

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) co-introduced new legislation to help small businesses, nonprofits, and Central Coast workers facing unprecedented economic challenges as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.  Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) is the lead sponsor of the bill.

The Too Small To Fail Act takes concrete steps to support small businesses and workers who have been hit hard by this virus.  Among its provisions, the bill would make available zero-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to small businesses and nonprofits affected by the coronavirus outbreak to help keep their doors open and meet their ongoing obligations.  The legislation will also allow for up to $15,000 in grants for small businesses, distributed within three days after a business or nonprofit applies for an EIDL, so that they can receive immediate relief.  In addition, the bill will empower the Small Business Administration (SBA) to defer payments on existing federal loans.

“The Too Small To Fail Act will help businesses get back up on their feet as quickly as possible with zero-interest loans, grants to help them stay afloat, and loan repayment relief,” said Congressman Panetta.  “We must meet this moment with swift action and every available resource to help Central Coast small businesses keep their lights on, pay their workers, and recover and thrive in the weeks and months ahead.”

Specifically, this legislation will:

  • Dramatically expand the availability of zero-interest, zero-fee loans to affected small businesses by lowering the Economic Injury Disaster Loans interest rate to small businesses and nonprofits at 0% interest and provide at least $350 billion in loan authority to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Authorizes SBA to provide up to $15,000 in grant funding for each small business or non-profit that applies for an EIDL loan, to be distributed within three days.
  • Provide debt repayment relief for small businesses by giving the Small Business Administrator broad authority to defer payments on existing SBA loans for affected businesses.
  • Waive the so-called “credit elsewhere” requirement for all affected small businesses, which currently limits SBA loan eligibility to businesses that would not otherwise have access to credit.
  • Ensure sufficient funds to cover the administrative cost of this effort.

This bill is cosponsored by Reps. Max Rose (NY-11), Kendra Horn (OK-05), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-at large), André Carson (IN -07),  Susan Wild (PA-07), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), and Chellie Pingree (ME-01).

The full text of the bill can be read here.

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