Congresswoman Elaine Luria Demands Answers on How SBA Can Improve Communication with Small Business Owners

October 5, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Congresswoman Elaine Luria sent a letter to Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza inquiring about the SBA’s process of responding to business owners’ questions on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

“Though the PPP and EIDL have helped many employers and employees alike, small business owners in our community have reported problems in communicating with the SBA,” said Congresswoman Luria. “Constituents have recounted long wait times with SBA’s EIDL Customer Service Center, sometimes being dropped from the call or speaking with SBA staff unfamiliar with the programs. I am concerned by these reports because Congress established and funded PPP and EIDL to support small businesses, yet SBA is not doing its part to provide guidance and clarity to program applicants.”

Congresswoman Luria’s letter posed a series of six questions designed to gain clarity on why constituents are experiencing delays in having their questions answered by the SBA. These questions include:

  1. How many SBA employees are designated to respond to small business owners’ questions regarding the PPP and EIDL applications?
  2. What training have these employees received to provide expert knowledge to assist business owners?
  3. How many congressional inquiries regarding the PPP and EIDL program has SBA received?
  4. How many of those congressional inquiries has SBA successfully solved?
  5. What is causing the delay in communicating with small business owners?
  6. What steps is SBA actively taking to improve their communication with small business owners?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Congresswoman Luria and her office have assisted several business owners with their applications to the PPP and EIDL program, recovering over $500,000 in grants and loans. In addition, the Congresswoman has fought to hold the SBA accountable for its administration of the PPP and EIDL. She sent letters to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza pressing for answers on why Coastal Virginians are experiencing delays in receiving their loan relief and clarification on SBA policies that limit EIDL’s effectiveness.