Pappas Introduces Too Small To Fail Act to Address Urgent Needs of Small Businesses and Workers in New Hampshire

March 23, 2020
Press Release
$350 Billon Small Business Lending Legislation Will Provide Cash Advances and Zero Interest Loans to Support NH’s Main Street Economy

Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) and 10 original co-sponsors introduced new legislation to help small businesses, nonprofits, and New Hampshire workers facing unprecedented economic challenges as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.

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.

“New Hampshire's small businesses are the backbone of our economy. But business as usual has been all but obliterated on Main Street in the Granite State and across the country. That is why I have introduced legislation to help small businesses and nonprofits weather this unprecedented crisis by getting them the direct support and relief they need and that they have been calling for,” said Congressman Pappas. “This legislation aims to 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. We must meet this moment with swift action and every available resource to help New Hampshire’s 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), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), and Chellie Pingree (ME-01).

The full text of the bill can be read here.

Background:

Last week, Congressman Pappas called on the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make available zero-interest loans for small businesses and nonprofits that are facing serious economic challenges from the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.

On Sunday, as the House began work on a third legislative package to address the spiraling impact of coronavirus, Pappas wrote to House Speaker Pelsoi and Minority leader McCarthy, urging them to put a focus on the urgent needs of Main Street small businesses and their workers who are struggling.

On March 17th, Congressman Pappas joined New Hampshire’s federal delegation in calling on the Small Business Administration (SBA) to issue an emergency declaration to ensure New Hampshire small businesses are eligible for the full suite of emergency resources available through the SBA.

Pappas also recently wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) calling for the Department to urgently provide guidance to health care providers in New Hampshire and across the country on the steps being taken to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other essential supplies to hospitals as they prepare for an increase of coronavirus patients in the weeks to come. 

Congressman Pappas, along with Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35) and Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), recently led over 100 lawmakers urging HHS to establish a Special Enrollment Period for patients to seek ACA Marketplace coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly important for New Hampshire, which is one of the 38 states covered by the federal exchange. 

Congressman Pappas and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) have now hosted two telephone town halls, reaching over 23,000 Granite Staters, featuring state health officials, medical experts, and Small Business Administration leaders to answer questions and address concerns of New Hampshire residents.  

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