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September 19, 2020

Congressional Report: Not Everyone Benefited From The Payroll Protection Plan

It says it excluded minority and women-owned businesses.

Washington DC (KM) A new Congressional report says the Payroll Protection Plan helped save at least 56,000 jobs in western Maryland, and provided  $450-million in loans to small businesses. But 6th District Congressman David Trone says is disproportionally excluded African-American, Latino and women-owned businesses.

“We think a lot of it is they did not have credit relationships prior. And that familiarity of already being in a credit relationship with different banks, different lending institutions, gave other businesses an edge,” Trone says.

He says these issues will be addressed in the HEROES Act being considered by Congress. “The new HEROES bill have more money for PPP. But also guidelines on it to help small businesses from minorities,” says Trone.

The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act is a $3-trillion stimulus program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It. supplements the CARES Act passed by Congress earlier this year.

The legislation provides $1.13-trillion in emergency supplemental appropriations to federal agencies and funding for state and local governments. addition,  there is $485-billion in safety net pr spending, including an expansion of unemployment benefits, increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, and increased funding utilities payments and job training for low-income individuals.

The HEROES Act has been passed by the House of Representatives, but is stalled in the Senate, with Republican Senators calling it “dead on arrival,” ” “unrealistic” and “a partisan offering.”

But Trone says this legislation is needed. “The HEROES Bill right now is stuck on an impasse between the Congress and the White House,” he says. “We’ve been very clear advocates, Everyone’s got  to get  into the room. They’ve got to put their heads together. But it has to include local and state funding.”

And the inclusion of funding local and state governments is what’s holding up the bill, Trone says. He says governments are suffering from lower revenues coming in due to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “So these associations are bipartisan, Republicans and Democrats. And our own Republican Governor; we need to get him dollars. And unfortunately, President Trump does not want to that at this point in time,” says Trone.

“We need to support Frederick County Government; Frederick City Government. We need to support Governor Larry Hogan in Maryland. And it needs to be done in a bipartisan way,” Trone says.