Shaheen Statement on Bipartisan Agreement to Replenish Small Business Assistance Programs, Support Hospitals & Testing

April 21, 2020

**SHAHEEN: “Importantly, this agreement recognizes small businesses need help and if we’re going to reopen our economy, we need more testing. And as hospitals in New Hampshire furlough workers, delivering resources to health care providers is absolutely vital to public health and safety”**

**Negotiations yielded significant additional support for small businesses, a set-aside for smaller lending institutions to broaden access to the program, funding for health care providers and nationwide testing efforts**

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a lead negotiator of the small business assistance provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, issued the following statement after congressional leadership and the Trump administration reached an agreement on further legislation to respond to the COVID-19 crisis:

“Importantly, this agreement recognizes small businesses need help and if we’re going to reopen our economy, we need more testing. And as hospitals in New Hampshire furlough workers, delivering resources to health care providers is absolutely vital to public health and safety. Immediate action is needed on this agreement and continued oversight is critical to make sure help is getting to the people who need it,” said Shaheen.

“Our state and local governments also need more help as they work to provide vital services as tax revenues keep dropping. Congress must pass this agreement and get to work on providing help to meet the many other needs of our communities. And President Trump must follow through on his commitment to support state and local funding in further relief legislation.”

During negotiations, Senator Shaheen was adamant that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Program (EIDL)—both of which had run out of funding—be replenished. She also called for changes that would allow for better access for smaller businesses, particularly businesses that don’t have a relationship with a big bank or accountant and lawyer services, to access the program, as well as additional funding for health care providers. Senator Shaheen continues to call for other changes to the PPP program to help New Hampshire’s small businesses, including extending key deadlines, and is urging that these fixes be included in further COVID-19 response legislation.

Today’s agreement provides $470 billion for small businesses, hospitals and nationwide testing efforts which includes:

  • $250 billion for PPP.

In addition, negotiations over the last week yielded:

  • To aid access to the program for smaller businesses, particularly businesses that don’t have relationships with big banks, this agreement has additional funding of $60 billion through PPP for smaller lending institutions to administer the program.
    • This includes $30 billion for institutions that have under $50 billion in assets and $30 billion for institutions with under $10 billion in assets.
  • $50 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which will allow the Small Business Administration to approve approximately $350 billion in loans.
  • An additional $10 billion for EIDL grants.

Hospitals and Testing:

  • $75 billion for grants for health care providers to help provide more liquidity for hospitals, physicians and other providers who are struggling with lost revenue and added expenses due to COVID-19.
    • This funding builds on the $100 billion in health care provider grants already provided under the CARES Act.
    • New Hampshire hospitals and providers have received $164.5 million so far through the first $30 billion installment of these grants.
  • $25 billion for a nationwide effort to ramp up testing capacity.
    • This includes $11 billion for states and localities to scale up lab capacities, trace contacts and purchase diagnostic tests.
    • Also included are $1 billion for development, manufacturing and production of diagnostic and serological tests, $1.8 billion for National Institutes of Health efforts to develop and validate new testing methods and $1 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ramp up lab capacity, contact tracing and surveillance.