Missouri Senator Pushes For Additional Small Business COVID-19 Relief

Date: August 19, 2020

Sen. Blunt Supports Second Round of PPP in Next Round of Coronavirus Recovery

As part of NFIB’s Virtual Fly-In, Sen. Roy Blunt told small business members in Missouri that the Paycheck Protection Program has been a huge success, getting money into the hands of small business owners quickly. Sen. Blunt wants another round of funding for small businesses with fewer than 300 employees that has taken a revenue hit of more than 35%. Sen. Blunt says this second round of PPP should be needs based and small business owners shouldn’t have to prove the reduction in revenue of 35%, rather, small business owners should be able to attest to it.

“The time is now to go from rescue to recovery. We need the money to go to the small businesses who need it the most. Some industries, like grocery stores, are doing better because of the coronavirus crisis and have had a great past six months. Other small businesses are getting crushed. I also want money so that kids can go back to school and more money for faster coronavirus testing,” said Blunt.

Sen. Blunt also expressed his support for small businesses who received less than $150,000 in PPP funds to receive borrower forgiveness.

The Senator filled in Missouri small business owners with the latest on what’s happening with the weekly federal unemployment benefit payments, saying Missouri has accepted the $300/week that President Trump laid out by executive order for federal unemployment funds. It’s much less than the $600/week payments that just expired last month. However, the President did not act on liability protection in his executive order, and Sen. Blunt says from his perspective, that is a must in the next stimulus bill.

“I think the chances of liability protections for small business passing in the next round of COVID-19 stimulus is good. The only way someone should be able to sue a small business is if they can prove that small business knowingly created danger and it was intentional. I also think it should be up to the federal government to pass this legislation, and I don’t say that a lot about the federal government.”

Sen. Blunt said he would like to see the next stimulus bill come in around $1 trillion dollars, telling small business owners he thinks the House’s version at $3 billion is way too much. As for timing, the Senator hopes to get it done this month, saying he would be disappointed if it isn’t done by the first week in September.

“I think that small businesses owners should be able to deduct their expenses from their PPP loan. They shouldn’t have to count expenses as income. I will make sure my colleagues here in D.C. understand this,” said the Senator.

When it comes to small business burdens, Sen. Blunt told Missouri small business owners he thinks the past four years have shown a good track record on reducing unnecessary regulations. Blunt said he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to add new regulations on small businesses in the defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021. It’s a bid to secure more extensive information on the beneficial ownership of small businesses registered in the United States, including Missouri. The legislation requires small businesses to file paperwork, including the name, date of birth, address, driver’s license number and passport of anyone with a 25% ownership stake in that small business with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

“It was good to hear directly from Missouri small business owners about the challenges they’re facing and how Congress can best support them as we move from the rescue phase to the recovery phase in the COVID-19 pandemic. We took immediate action to help small business owners and employees through the Paycheck Protection Program, which has saved millions of jobs nationwide. In the next phase of COVID-19 relief, we need to be sure there is additional, flexible support focused on businesses that have been hit hardest. As chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that funds health and education programs, I’m also working to make sure we have the resources in place to develop millions of COVID-19 tests that provide quick, accurate results so people can get back to work and students can get back to school as soon as possible. I also understand the importance of child care in our economic recovery and have worked to ensure that parents have access to high-quality, affordable child care as they return to in-person work.  As we continue working toward the next phase of COVID-19 relief, I will keep in mind the valuable feedback I’ve received from NFIB members. I appreciate all our small business men and women are doing to take care of their employees and their communities as our economy gets back to full speed,” said Senator Blunt.

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