ICYMI: Shaheen & Group of Senators Introduce New Legislation to Suspend SBA Loan Payments for 6 Months, Provide Financial Reprieve to NH Small Businesses Financially Impacted by Coronavirus

March 19, 2020

Legislation Comes as SBA Approves NH’s Emergency Declaration so Resources are Available for Granite State Businesses, Heeding Calls from NH Congressional Delegation

(Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, introduced new legislation yesterday with U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and a group of Senators that would ensure every small business with a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) would be relieved of their loan payments—including principal, interest, and fees—for the next six months. The Small Business Debt Relief Act of 2020 would be a lifeline for a wide range of American small businesses fighting for their survival over the coming months.

WMUR’s John DiStaso has the full story here.

Yesterday, Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza signed New Hampshire’s emergency declaration 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. The New Hampshire delegation called on the SBA earlier this week to approve the emergency declaration.

“As our communities navigate this unprecedented public health crisis, it is paramount that we do everything we can to alleviate the financial burden impacting families, workers and small businesses,” said Shaheen. “That’s why I’m joining with Senator Coons to introduce new legislation that would appropriate additional federal dollars to suspend payments on Small Business Administration loans for six months. Small businesses in New Hampshire and around the country are facing significant issues managing cash flow, payroll and other expenses, and we need to use every tool at our disposal to help them weather this storm. I’ll continue to explore every option available to provide economic security to Granite State businesses and their employees.”

The Small Business Debt Relief Act would assist borrowers in three major SBA lending programs:

  • The 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program consists of $95 billion of outstanding loans. The two industries with the largest share of that volume are restaurants and hotels, which are among the hardest-hit by COVID-19. Child care centers, dental practices, and medical practices also rely heavily on the program. 
  • The 504 Certified Development Company loan guarantee program provides long-term fixed rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land, buildings, equipment, and machinery and microloan programs. The total of outstanding 504 loans is $26 billion.
  • The Microloan program provides loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses and nonprofit child care centers, via nonprofit intermediary lenders. The total of outstanding microloans is more than $560 million.

Yesterday, Shaheen voted in favor of robust economic coronavirus response legislation to provide financial support to workers, businesses and families impacted by the spread of the coronavirus. The President signed it into law last night.

Senator Shaheen has been sounding the alarm on the need for additional federal funding to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Following calls from Shaheen and others in Congress, on Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the spread of coronavirus. Shaheen 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