SBA Loan Compromise Bill Lacks Key Ingredients: Transparency and Accountability

WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. economy continues to collapse as over 4.4 million more Americans filed for unemployment benefits this week. With no end in sight to the health crisis, there should be no higher economic priority for Congress than ensuring small businesses get all the help they need as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, Congress is preparing to make the same mistakes all over again that led thousands of legitimate small businesses into a brick wall of bureaucracy and rejection while large companies with immense resources and well-paid executives made off with multi-million-dollar forgivable SBA loans.

The House is set to consider a new funding bill for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, already passed in the Senate, that once again does not include any new transparency requirements and would still allow big chains like Ruth’s Chris to suck up millions of dollars aimed at Mom-and-Pop operations across the country. Thanks to a special interest loophole in the CARES Act, SBA PPP loans requests for more than $1 million accounted for four percent of the applications, but made up nearly 45 percent of the approved spending. And at least 94 publicly-traded firms, some worth more than $100 million, received $365 million in taxpayer money.  

“The horrific jobs situation is getting no better, and neither is the response from Washington,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Small businesses hanging by a thread were told help was on the way but far too many have been shoved aside by big companies with more assets than problems. At bare minimum, the next PPP bill should include rigorous oversight and transparency provisions — and ensure legitimate small business owners are able to easily access aid before more chain restaurants.”



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