Federal Policy Update – June 2020

SBA Increases Transparency in Paycheck Protection Program

Last week, the Small Business Administration announced that it will begin making public data on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was not previously disclosed. The goal of this change is to provide more transparency and accountability regarding how taxpayer money is distributed while continuing to protect protecting small business owners’ personally identifiable information. 

For loans between $150,000 and $1 million, SBA will disclose the business names, addresses, NAICS codes, zip codes, business type, demographic data, non-profit information, jobs supported, and loan amount range. For loans below $150,000, SBA will release totals aggregated by zip code, industry, business type, and by various demographic categories. 

The change comes after Senate Republicans initially blocked legislation that would require SBA to provide detailed information on PPP and other COVID-19 relief programs to Congress. At the time, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) condemned this move and urged the Administration to make program data public. 

“I am pleased that the Trump Administration reversed course from its initial refusal to disclose this data following calls for transparency from me, Chairman Rubio, and our Democratic and Republican colleagues,” said Sen. Cardin on June 20. “This data will help ensure that we are able to get capital as quickly as possible to the small businesses that need it most.”

Senators Introduce Bill to Expand PPP Eligibility to Chambers of Commerce

Last Thursday, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, along with Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced a bill to expand PPP eligibility to local Chambers of Commerce that are 501(c)(6)’s and destination marketing organizations.

The bill aims to buoy the economy by strengthening chambers of commerce and tourism organizations that provide infrastructure and services to small businesses all across the country.