Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led her collages in a letter to Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Guzman urging her to extend the deferment period for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. In 2020, Congress expanded the program to businesses impacted by the pandemic and over 42,100 businesses in Nevada benefited from the EIDL program, which provides low-interest capital to cover expenses. Many of these borrowers are still recovering from the impacts of the Omicron variant, supply chain challenges, and uncertainty stemming from the situation in Ukraine and need additional time before starting on their loan repayments.
“The enterprises that turned to the Small Business Administration (SBA) during the pandemic include some of the most vulnerable businesses in our nation,” the Senators wrote. “Granting them additional time before having to pay back their loans would not only provide much-needed relief during this period of continued uncertainty, increased costs, and supply chain challenges, but also put them in a much better position to thrive once the economy is fully recovered.”
The Senators continued, “As you know, small businesses are resilient and innovative. The knowledge that debt service will not be a short-term concern is invaluable. Extending the deferment period allows these small businesses to use their cash on hand for operating expenses, to pay employees, and make long term planning decisions… After two turbulent years, we know the end is in sight, and the SBA should continue to provide small enterprises resources and relief.”
This letter was signed by Senators Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.).
The full text of the letter can be found here.
Senator Cortez Masto has been a strong advocate for small businesses in the Senate, leading legislation to streamline the EIDL program and combat fraud. She’s also introduced legislation to protect small businesses from expensive data breaches and cyber-attacks and to help small businesses partner with institutions of higher education to conduct research and development. Throughout the pandemic, she has helped pass the CARES Act and additional coronavirus relief legislation to provide economic relief. She has also supported Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to small businesses and an additional $370 billion in funding for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL).