On Friday, Republican state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt urged federal lawmakers to make changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, which is meant to bolster small businesses and their workers during the pandemic and subsequent economic crisis.
In the letter, Schmitt urged Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to make changes to the program as some small businesses are unable to meet requirements that would convert the no-interest loan into a grant. The letter was also sent to Democratic Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Nita Lowey, the chairwoman of the powerful Appropriations Committee in the House.
At issue has been meeting percentages for payroll or using a larger percentage of the funding to cover operational expenses. If small businesses can meet required spending targets, the grant is converted into a loan and must be paid back.
Some small businesses have found the program as approved in April confusing and fear run afoul of its regulations.
Congress is debating yet another stimulus measure as the economic conditions continue to worsen across the country.
Many businesses deemed non-essential have been shuttered since March in order to prevent the spread of the virus, resulting in layoffs and furloughs — creating a wave of unemployment claims in the process.
“The current program as developed is in need of modification by Congress,” Schmitt said. “The program restrictions, limitations and mandates are proving to be a serious problem for small businesses across all sectors of the economy. Congress needs to promptly modify this program to help our struggling small businesses.”