Congresswoman Elaine Luria Votes For Small Business Protection Bills

May 28, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elaine Luria voted for two bills she cosponsored to help small businesses and ensure transparency and accountability from the Small Business Administration’s loan programs. The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010and the TRUTH Act (H.R. 6782) sought to ensure that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs work better for small businesses in Coastal Virginia. While the TRUTH Act failed, the PPP Flexibility Act passed the House and will eliminate bureaucratic red tape within the PPP program and give small business owners flexibility to use these resources and be able to open when it is safe.  

While I am disappointed the TRUTH Act failed in the House, I will continue to advocate for transparency and hold the SBA accountable to small business owners across Coastal Virginia,said Congresswoman Luria. “As a former small business owner, I empathize with the frustration felt by small business owners from our community. That’s why I voted in favor of swift passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act to make it easier for small businesses and non-profits to access critical SBA resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

The PPP provides small businesses and nonprofits forgivable loans to cover payroll and other costs. Unfortunately, its rigid and arbitrary rules prevent many small businesses from receiving assistance that meets their needs. The SBA has also released little information on the implementation of the PPP or EIDL programs, which makes it difficult for Congress to conduct oversight on these programs that receive hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. Congresswoman Luria cosponsored the TRUTH Act in order to provide small business owners access to an online, searchable, sortable, and downloadable resource regarding this critical program.

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act will make it easier for small businesses and nonprofits to benefit from PPP funds. It eliminates the requirement that limits non-payroll expenses to 25 percent of loan proceeds and provides loan forgiveness protections for businesses that are unable to rehire former employees. Also, it allows businesses to spend PPP loan funds within 24 weeks, instead of the current eight weeks timeline, and prolongs the minimum maturity date of PPP loans from two years to five years. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Congresswoman Luria has voiced many of the concerns that these bills address. At a House Committee on Small Business last month, Congresswoman Luria advocated for legislative fixes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). For example, she highlighted the requirement that 75-percent of the PPP loan goes toward payroll harms local businesses in the hospitality and aquaculture sectors. The Congresswoman has also voiced her disappointment in the long wait times and uncertainty regarding the EIDL and PPP loan processes. She joined an initiative urging SBA leadership to take immediate action to bolster transparency regarding these vital programs  for small businesses. 

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.