Las Vegas, Nevada — U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) in introducing new legislation that will help more small businesses access flexible Small Business Administration (SBA) funding to cover their operational costs and stay open.The legislation will make key updates to the economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) program, including cutting the interest rate to 1 percent, raising the cap on maximum loan amounts, adding a new EIDL advance for hard hit businesses, and adding millions of dollars more to the program.
“The EIDL program has been an important lifeline for Nevada’s small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, which is why I support this legislation to lower EIDL interest rates and make the program more flexible. If it’s easier for small businesses to secure these critical loans and grants, they can more easily adapt their businesses in light of changing times and take steps to protect public health and safety as they reopen. I’ll keep working with my colleagues to ensure Nevada’s small businesses have all the support they need during this pandemic.”
Senator Cortez Masto helped pass the CARES Act to provide economic relief and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to small businesses and supported an additional $370 billion in funding for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). She has since urged the SBA to quickly administer PPP and EIDL loans to Nevada small businesses who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
She has also advocated for Congress to provide additional support for the gaming, hospitality, travel and outdoor recreation industries. She sent a letter, along with the entire Nevada Congressional Delegation, asking that any legislation to address the economic impact of this crisis also provide relief for Nevada’s travel and tourism industries. Senators Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen also helped secure the reversal of a Small Business Administration (SBA) rule that previously barred small gaming businesses from participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
This legislation will restore the value of the EIDL program for small businesses and nonprofits by:
- Lowering interest rates to 1 percent for any EIDL loan taken out after February 15, 2020, in line with the PPP loan rate;
- Allowing new EIDL loan applicants to receive up to $2 million, based on their financial need;
- Enabling current EIDL loan recipients to request an increase in their EIDL loan up to $2 million, based on their financial need;
- Requiring the SBA to provide the full amount of the EIDL advance requested by an applicant, up to $10,000;
- Creating a new EIDL advance of up to $25,000 for applicants that have experienced a reduction of 50 percent or more in gross receipts from a comparable 8-week period before the public health crisis began; and
- Providing an additional $80 billion for EIDL loans and $20 billion for EIDL advances.