It is critical that Congress and the administration continue to support America's small businesses and their employees through additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding, CUNA wrote to House and Senate leadership this weekend. The PPP, designed to help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, ran out of its $349 billion in funds Thursday.
“We encourage Congress to appropriate the largest amount possible, and urge Congress to set aside a substantial portion of those fund for small lenders to ensure that small businesses are able to access funds from Main Street lenders, provided that such a set aside for small lenders does not delay the delivery of funds to small businesses, or complicate the approval process for lenders,” the letter reads. “Further, if Congress sets aside funds to be loaned by small lenders, the set aside should represent a floor, not a ceiling, for small lender access to the program.”
The letter also notes that while credit unions have been a “crucial access point” for businesses to receive PPP funds, their small scale as lenders put them at a disadvantage when PPP loans began.
“They had more difficulty accessing the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) lending system; many began the process with less familiarity with SBA systems; and, they had fewer business lenders processing applications than the large lenders,” the letter reads. “All of this, and other challenges, slowed small lenders’ lending pipeline, and, when funds were exhausted, left many small businesses waiting for approvals.”
CUNA issued an action alert Friday to call on credit union stakeholders to contact their elected officials to fund the PPP, and CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan also wrote to all 535 Congressional offices calling for more funds so credit unions can continue their service to member businesses and communities.