Shaheen & Bipartisan Small Business Task Force Unveil Final $377 Billion Emergency Coronavirus Relief Package

March 25, 2020

**The bipartisan relief package would provide $377 billion in desperately needed economic assistance for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak**

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, released today with U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) the final bipartisan small business emergency economic relief plan that provides more than $377 billion for small businesses to meet their payroll and expenses, and receive education and assistance throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act is Division A of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. An updated section by section can be found here and one pager can be found here.

“Over the last week, I’ve kept in close contact with New Hampshire’s businesses who are reeling from this crisis -- these conversations were invaluable as I helped negotiate this vital legislation to aid our small businesses,” said Shaheen. “New Hampshire’s small businesses owners are lying awake at night worried about whether they can stay afloat and keep their employees on payroll. This moment of crisis demands that Congress take bold action to help these entrepreneurs and their workers. To New Hampshire and the nation’s small businesses, I want to make it clear: help is on the way. While we did not always agree and there are certainly measures I wish we could have included, this agreement is a product of good faith bipartisan negotiations and will provide real relief. I want to sincerely thank my partners, Senators Rubio, Cardin and Collins, for their constructive approach throughout this process. Small businesses are fundamental to New Hampshire’s economy and this assistance can’t come quickly enough. Let’s get this assistance across the finish line and continue to work in a bipartisan way to rescue our economy, prioritizing the financial security of our working families and small business entrepreneurs. More legislation will certainly be necessary going forward.”

The Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act:

  • Creates the Paycheck Protection Program, a nearly $350 billion program to provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance to small businesses through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to quickly snap-back after the crisis.  
  • Allows the Paycheck Protection Program to cover payroll costs, paid sick leave, supply chain disruptions, employee salaries, health insurance premiums, mortgage payments, and other debt obligations to provide immediate access to capital for small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19.
  • Provides $265 million for grants to offer counseling, training, and related assistance to small businesses affected by COVID-19 to SBA resource partners, including Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers and $10 million for the Minority Business Development Agency’s Minority Business Centers and Minority Chambers of Commerce. 
  • Allows for expedited access to capital by establishing a $10 billion emergency grant program for small businesses who have applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to request an advance of up to $10,000 on the loan to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintaining payroll, and other debt obligations.  
  • Reflecting legislation introduced by Senator Shaheen, this bill requires SBA to pay all principal, interest and fees on all new and existing SBA loan products including 7(a), Community Advantage, 504, and Microloan programs for 6 months, and provides $17 billion for this purpose.

As the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak continue to grow in New Hampshire and across the nation, Shaheen has worked to provide relief to small businesses impacted by the crisis. Last week, 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. On Friday, 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 outbreak. This proposal included legislation introduced by Shaheen that would ensure every small business with a loan from the SBA would be relieved of their loan payments—including principal, interest, and fees—for the next six months. This legislation is a part of the legislation announced today. As the crisis has continued, Shaheen has been in constant communication with New Hampshire small businesses. Yesterday, Shaheen spoke on the floor of the Senate to address Granite Staters on the COVID-19 economic response bill.