Gottheimer and Philips Urge Congressional PPP Renewal

October 30, 2020 by Sara Wilkerson
Rep. Josh Gottheimer

Earlier this week, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. and Dean Phillips, D-Minn., discussed the continuously growing need to renew the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program for a second round and urged both Congress and the administration to continue bipartisan negotiations for a new COVID-19 relief deal. The first round of PPP expired 80 days ago this week. 

“Here in my district in North Jersey, we’re continuing to face major battles — both the fight to make sure every resident is protected from this virus and the fight to get our local economies, businesses, and communities back on track,” said Gottheimer.  

Gottheimer continued, “To get more help and resources out to our communities, now, more than ever, we need to come together and seek common ground — not further division. We must approve a second round of PPP loans for our small businesses so that they can stay afloat during the winter season.” 

According to a press release from Congressman Gottheimer’s office, 99.6% of all New Jersey businesses are small businesses. The Paycheck Protection Program helped retain 168,772 jobs in New Jersey’s Fifth District. In total, 157,405 New Jersey businesses and nonprofits received PPP loans, totaling more than $17.3 billion. 

For Minnesota’s Third District, the district houses more small businesses than any other district in the state. In total, the PPP program supported more than 233,000 jobs in the district through 14,000 PPP loans totaling $2.2 billion. 

“The Paycheck Protection Program helped millions of small businesses and their employees. We are going to keep advocating for our bipartisan March to Common Ground framework – and the PPP program is going to be central to it, because small businesses are the engine of our economy and if we don’t invest in them now, it will be a lot more costly in the long run,” said Phillips. 

Gottheimer and Philips are members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, a coalition of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans in Congress who are committed to finding common ground and less partisan gridlock in Washington.  

Last month, the PSC unveiled its “March to Common Ground” framework aimed at resuming COVID-19 stimulus package negotiations.  

The framework itself outlines specific problems and solutions to how future COVID-19 stimulus funds can be allocated in broad categories such as vaccine testing and health care, unemployment assistance, and more. Among the allocation categories is Small Business and Non-profit Support, where PPP funding lies. 

According to the full framework report, previous PPP funding has already been “exhausted” by most businesses who received loans from the SBA and are waiting to receive more relief amid the pandemic.  

“Furthermore, many small businesses in distressed communities and owned by entrepreneurs of color were unable to obtain loans through the original program,” added the report. 

As a solution, the PSC proposes that Congress allocates $240 billion for a second round of PPP. The PSC recommended that the second round of PPP loans have flexible use, full transparency, simplified forgiveness terms, and that Congress should prioritize distressed businesses. 

At the time of the announcement of the “March to Common Ground” framework, Gottheimer, who acts as a co-chair of the PSC, said, ““What brings us together — 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans — is our shared goal of finding a pragmatic solution — a bipartisan path forward — to help get negotiators to return to the table. 

“Our March to Common Ground package does just that — it lays out a common sense framework to get help and resources out to American families and businesses.” 

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