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Carolinas delegation members cosponsor League-supported PPP forgiveness measures

Thursday, July 30, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Members of Congress from the Carolinas want to bolster Main Street, cosponsoring S.4117 and H.R.7777 to simplify forgiveness of small businesses' PPP loans of less than $150,000.

 

As recent virtual advocacy by the League and its members has highlighted credit union support of small businesses and urged further relief, five members of Congress from the Carolinas have cosponsored legislation that would forgive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of less than $150,000.

The League has brought together elected officials and in-district credit unions in a series of virtual meetings amid the pandemic. In the most recent, they reviewed credit unions’ vital role in sustaining truly small businesses by aiding their applications for PPP loans as many faced looming filing deadlines and inaction by large banks.

North Carolina PPP Impact
NC PPP Report Infographic

South Carolina PPP Impact
SC PPP Report Infographic
Click each image for full-size view.

Of the 1,200-plus PPP loans South Carolina credit unions supported, 97 percent were for less than $150,000. Nearly 93 percent of the 2,605 PPP loans North Carolina credit unions helped secure fall below $150,000. The average sub-$150,000 PPP loan secured through Carolinas credit unions was for approximately $24,000.

Now bipartisan measures in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives would forgive those loans with a simple attestation, allowing Main Street businesses to concentrate on their communities rather than regulatory requirements.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and fellow Senate Banking Committee members Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced S.4117, the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, on June 30. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) joined as cosponsor on July 23.

“The Paycheck Protection Program played a crucial role in supporting small businesses and saving jobs for hardworking North Carolinians,” Tillis said in a joint statement. “I am proud to co-introduce this bipartisan legislation that will help small businesses save thousands of dollars to ask for forgiveness for their PPP loan and use those funds to help re-start our economy.”

Via Zoom conference on July 14, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC9), the League, and district-representative credit unions talked about their respective PPP challenges, as well as S. 4117 as a means of extending relief. The U.S. House would follow suit on Friday, July 24, as Reps. Bishop, Ted Budd (R-NC13), and Joe Wilson (R-SC2) were among 25 original cosponsors of companion bill H.R.7777.

“Making sure that small businesses and their workers are protected during COVID-19 is one of my top priorities. This is a common sense bill that would ease the burden on small shops who accepted PPP loans,” Rep. Budd said of H.R.7777.

"The Paycheck Protection Program has been a critical lifeline for many of the small businesses in South Carolina's Second District," Rep. Wilson added. "I am grateful to be an original cosponsor of HR 7777, which would streamline the process for certifying compliance with PPP requirements and expedite the loan forgiveness process for PPP loans of $150,000 or less."

Both measures carry the same provisions:

  • Forgive covered PPP loans of less than $150,000, if the borrower submits to the lender a simple, one-page attestation form that requests voluntary provision of the owner’s sex, race, ethnicity, and veteran status; and
  • Hold lenders harmless from enforcement action should a borrower attestation contained any falsehoods.

Their straightforward purpose and broad support suggest an expedient path to passage, befitting the urgency of credit unions in helping applicants in their communities and of Congress in seeking to bolster Main Street and foster economic recovery.

“We intended the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to give immediate relief for small businesses—not more red tape. I support automatic forgiveness for PPP loans under $150,000 to keep helping the smallest businesses hold onto employees and serve their communities throughout the pandemic,” said Rep. Bishop.

Helping small businesses survive means a great deal to the credit unions who have seen them struggle to connect with the program, as well as to the legislators who understand how many borrowers the forgiveness measures would reach.

"Almost 90% of the PPP loans in South Carolina are $150,000 and under," Wilson noted. "This legislation would provide additional relief for our small businesses during this difficult time."

The League continues to monitor the legislative environment and connect credit unions with legislators for shared experiences, perspectives, and opportunities. Reach out to CCUL Advocacy with any related questions or concerns.

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League Pandemic Advocacy and Virtual Events

April 16: League to McMaster, Cooper: CUs are stepping up to help members

April 27-28: League’s Town Hall Teleconferences join CUs and U.S. Senators for timely perspective, discussion

June 13: League and CUs share impact, challenges, and opportunity with NC congressional staff

June 18, 24: Strengthening connections: CCUL Advocacy continues virtual networking with lawmakers, candidates

June 29: Upstate CU advocates, U.S. Rep. Timmons share perspectives on pandemic support and recovery

July 16: In-district CUs, U.S. Rep. Bishop exchange background, perspective in latest virtual advocacy event

July 23: CUs, House Minority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC6) share urgency for supporting members, small businesses

 


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