WASHINGTON, D.C. – The unemployment rate remains at over 11% and the U.S. economy is still on edge this week as over 1.4 million more Americans filed for unemployment insurance. The total number of workers drawing unemployment benefits remains at nearly 20 million, yet some senators are taking a hard line against extending enhanced unemployment insurance — despite an overwhelming 75% of the public supporting an extension. The news also comes as Congress pushed the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to August 8th — a move that provides five more weeks for businesses to get aid but does not address the fundamental flaws in the program that have denied access to relief for thousands of struggling small businesses it was intended to assist.
“Another week of crushing loss for workers and small businesses, and yet enhanced unemployment insurance is about to run out,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Congress needs to not only extend relief for out-of-work families amid a worsening health crisis, but also start getting assistance to all the small businesses they left behind, particularly in communities of color. Getting help to those who need it will require a bold new program that is fully transparent, data-driven, and accountable — all things the SBA’s current PPP program is not.”
WHERE TO START: Government watchdog Accountable.US renewed its calls on Congress to turn the page on the Small Business Administration’s secretive and corrupt PPP program and ensure a fairer and more transparent system for getting relief to the small businesses that need it most. There’s no fixing a program that was so fundamentally flawed that large, publicly-traded companies got tens of millions they didn’t need while upward of 90 percent of minority-owned small businesses were shut out. A recent report from the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Commission confirmed that CARES Act money has mainly benefited large businesses.
The Trump Recession Only Getting Worse for Millions of Americans:
- Bloomberg, 7/1: The Coming Wave of Coronavirus Evictions Will Wipe Out Black Renters
- CNBC, 6/24: Nearly a quarter of small businesses have considered closing their doors permanently because of Covid-19, and 12% are facing potential bankruptcy.
- NYT, 6/22: As housing courts nationwide begin to reopen and federal stimulus checks are about to end, eviction cases are expected to soar. A recent report by Amherst, an analytics and data real estate firm, found that up to 28 million renters are at risk of eviction.
- Politico Morning Money, 6/24: Black- and Asian-owned small businesses’ have taken disproportionate hits during the pandemic. While cash balances for small businesses were down by 12.7 percent overall in early April, they dropped by 26 percent for Black businesses and by 22 percent for Asian businesses.
- CNBC, 6/24: Millions of Americans will fall off an ‘income cliff’ when extra $600 in unemployment benefits ends next month: Without the extra $600, benefits will revert to the standard state amount, which averaged $378 per week in March. That’s a sudden income reduction of 60%, without another stimulus check to fall back on.
- Wall Street Journal, 6/17 PPP Small-Business Loans Left Behind Many of America’s Neediest Firms: From February through May, companies with fewer than 500 employees lost 11.6 million jobs, 18.4% of their pre-crisis workforce.