This week, the Senate passed the Payment Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act, already passed by the House in May, sending the bill to the president, who is expected to sign it into law. While the act makes necessary improvements to the PPP, more needs to be done to ensure money is going to minority and women-owned businesses and the smallest small businesses.
Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), provided the following statement:
“It has been pretty evident from the early data coming from the PPP, that it was yet another flawed government program that worked first and best for bigger businesses, and last and worst for the smallest and minority-owned businesses.
“While we agree with the efforts included in this flexibility act, like extending the covered expense period and pushing back the processing deadline, the act fails to address the racial inequality of the program.
“Congress should have included a data reporting requirement that included borrower demographics and loan amounts, set a minimum origination fee for the smallest loans to minimize disincentives to serve the smallest businesses and enhanced forgiveness and safe harbor for small loan borrowers.
“During this time of racial justice protests, the government has once again missed an opportunity to hear the calls of the people and make improvements that will have a real and meaningful impact for people of color. The government needs to go further to support the communities and small businesses that have suffered the most during the pandemic, and this includes Black communities in particular that have suffered from economic neglect for decades. Congress needs to step up.”