Shaheen Releases Relief Proposal to Help Small Businesses Address Public Health-Related Challenges from Coronavirus Outbreak

March 19, 2020

(Washington, DC) — Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) 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 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

American small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, with reports of small businesses experiencing major difficulties.  Due to the nature of this economic disruption, the existing disaster recovery programs for small businesses are insufficient. Congress must find new, innovative ways to help our nation’s small businesses survive the coronavirus outbreak, and build resiliency for the future.

Shaheen and her colleagues propose the COVID-19 RELIEF for Small Businesses Act of 2020 to improve and leverage the tools available at the Small Business Administration (SBA) to support small businesses, and create new tools to address the unprecedented pressure that small businesses face, including waiving the disaster declaration requirements so that businesses in all states have immediate access to Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Yesterday, Shaheen joined her colleagues in introducing legislation 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. This legislation is included in the relief proposal.

The COVID-19 RELIEF for Small Businesses Act of 2020 also supports small business relief through the tax code. These proposals ensure that tax relief provides the most support possible to the small businesses that need it the most.

“Small businesses face unprecedented disruption to their operations as a result of the tremendous economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Congress must use all the tools at its disposal to help small businesses stay financially afloat,” said Shaheen. “This legislation helps address this challenge and contains robust, comprehensive measures that will provide businesses vital financial security during this crisis, including recovery grants to help absorb costs, debt relief and the expansion of loan programs for businesses in the most impacted and underserved communities. The Senate should take up this legislation as soon as possible and continue to look for every way to help our small businesses.”

Click here to download a copy of the proposal. 

Yesterday, Shaheen voted in favor of 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. In addition, 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.

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