Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic, Shaheen & Hassan Introduce Bill to Support Small Business Lending

March 20, 2020

Bill Reauthorizes Successful Lending Program to Help Support Small Businesses Hit Hard by Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) today with their colleagues reintroduced legislation to support small business lending as the coronavirus pandemic continues to negatively impact small businesses in New Hampshire and across the country. The Small Business Access to Capital Act will reauthorize and improve the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) which helps small businesses grow and create jobs.

The Small Business Access to Capital Act will help small businesses better access capital for growth and expansion by leveraging billions of dollars in private investments through state-led initiatives funded by the SSBCI. Created as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which Senator Shaheen supported at the time, SSBCI has promoted billions of dollars in private sector small business lending. This legislation – which Shaheen previously introduced in 2017 – will also create a new, competitive $2 billion pool of funding for states that have already capitalized on funding from the 2010 program.

“Small businesses in New Hampshire are the backbone of our economy and the heart of our communities. They’re also on the frontlines of the economic fallout from this public health emergency,” said Senator Shaheen. “As we navigate this crisis, ensuring small businesses have access to capital to endure the financial impact of this crisis is crucial. That’s why I’m reintroducing legislation to strengthen the State Small Business Credit Initiative so we can prioritize economic support for small businesses to hold steady during this challenging time.”

“New Hampshire small businesses need funds now to pay their employees, make rent, and continue operations as best as they can as the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” said Senator Hassan. “The State Small Business Credit Initiative has provided significant support to Granite State businesses in the past, and this much-needed bill will reauthorize the program and expand funding for it in order to provide greater support to hard-working small businesses owners in New Hampshire and across the country. I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join us in working to quickly pass this bill.”

This week, Shaheen and Hassan voted in favor of economic coronavirus response legislation to provide financial support to workers, businesses and families impacted by the spread of the coronavirus, which the President signed into law. In addition, Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza signed New Hampshire’s emergency declaration, heeding the New Hampshire delegation’s call to do so, to allow Granite State small businesses to be eligible for the full suite of emergency resources through the SBA, as firms mitigate financial hardships due to the spread of the coronavirus. Yesterday, Shaheen released a new relief proposal with her Democratic colleagues on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee to help small businesses address public health-related challenges from the coronavirus outbreak, which includes legislation she introduced that would suspend SBA loan payments for the next six months. Shaheen is helping to lead negotiations on support for small businesses in third economic relief package that Congress will soon consider. She has been communicating with Granite Stater stakeholders affected by the public health emergency, such as small businesses owners and leaders of New Hampshire communities, including mayors and non-profit service organizations and charities who are assisting response efforts in communities throughout the state.

Senators Shaheen and Hassan have been sounding the alarm on the need for additional federal funding to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Following calls from Shaheen and Hassan and others in Congress, on Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the spread of coronavirus. Shaheen and Hassan supported bipartisan government funding legislation to help states’ response efforts, which was recently signed into law. The CDC disbursed the $4.9 million funds for New Hampshire included in that funding package. Earlier this week, Shaheen shared a video message with Granite Staters in response to the spread of the coronavirus, which can be viewed in full here