American Business Immigration Coalition and Partners host National Webcast on the CARES Act "Paycheck Protection Program"
American Business Immigration Coalition, National Restaurant Association, Illinois Restaurant Association, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and National Partnership for New Americans partner in webcast to troubleshoot "Paycheck Protection Program"
Nearly 1,600 small business owners, nonprofit leaders, workers and SBA-certified lenders across the nation Tuesday joined the webcast, “Paycheck Protection Program Implementation & Troubleshooting,” to receive updates on the Payment Protection Program since its bumpy implementation last Friday, including guidance on the loan application process and troubleshoot lender issues. The webcast featured a Q&A session for attendees with Renee Bender, Senior Professional Staff at the U.S. Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, Senate Lead Implementer for the Paycheck Protection Program, and Liaison to the U.S. Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA). Access the full webcast recording here by registering via “Register Now” button.
The Paycheck Protection Program, included in Phase 3 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, was passed by Congress with bipartisan and bicameral support in March to get $350 billion into the hands of small business owners and nonprofits affected by COVID-19 to keep their employees on payroll. Bank of America, the only big bank that began processing applications on the Program’s opening day last Friday, said Monday that they had received 178,000 loan applications, with a cumulative value of nearly $33 billion.
The webcast is the second installment in a national virtual series on the Paycheck Protection Program, hosted by the American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), National Restaurant Association, Illinois Restaurant Association, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, and the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA). The first webinar in the series provided an overview of the main provisions of the Payment Protection Program, and featured remarks and statements from the Program’s main Congressional champions, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), and U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY). The series centers minority-owned businesses and their workers across industries and sectors suffering from the coronavirus pandemic, and works to connect them to programmatic experts, practical information and resources, as well as identify priority fixes to better meet the dire needs of these businesses.
Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at the National Restaurant Association, highlighted the urgent need to connect restaurants across the U.S. to relief through the Paycheck Protection Program. "Ensuring that the restaurant industry and their 15.6 million workers are able survive the slowdowns and closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic is critical to keeping our communities and economy strong. We are proud to work with the Illinois Restaurant Association, ABIC and other partners in order to provide the guidance and resources restaurants and small businesses need to keep their workers paid and weather this storm."
“We are pleased to offer this webinar series in collaboration with our respected partners,” said Sam Toia, President and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association, and an ABIC member. “It is critical that we continue to offer information and guidance to the restaurant industry as they navigate the Paycheck Protection Program and other measures of the CARES Act that can aid their businesses and their employees through this crisis. We will continue to advocate for the industry’s best interests and make resources available every step of the way towards recovery.”
Comprising 99% of all U.S. businesses and employing nearly half of the workforce, small businesses are the engine of the U.S. economy. However, they are also the most at risk to economic declines, with a majority of small businesses having an average cash flow of only six to eight weeks. Minority-owned businesses fare even worse, with their cash flow standing at just two to three weeks.
“Minority-owned small businesses are in peril as they are forced to shutter their doors under the coronavirus pandemic. Without the capital necessary to sustain payroll and core operating expenditures, many of these businesses have very little chance of reopening without significant help," said Sam Scott, Retired CEO of Corn Products International (Ingredion Inc.), and ABIC Co-Chair. "The key to the Payment Protection Program being a success is in the equitable implementation and disbursement of funds so these loans reach the small and minority-owned businesses that need them the most. ABIC and our partners are committed to dig in and make sure the outcomes of this Program live up to its legislative intent."
"The CARES Act was deeply flawed when it excluded immigrants from the health and family support provisions,” said Angelica Salas, Executive Director of CHIRLA and NPNA Executive Committee Member. “We are proud to have worked with ABIC and the NRA, the bipartisan team of Senators Rubio and Cardin, and House leaders Speaker Pelosi and Representative Velázquez to ensure that the Paycheck Protection Program is inclusive of employers and employees. Now we must work together and ensure these loans go to the difficult to reach small, immigrant, minority, and rural businesses where they are urgently needed."
The magnitude of need in the small business community, especially among minority-owned businesses, requires increased investment at the federal, state and local level in order to safeguard our economy and protect the most vulnerable in our society. We welcome Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin’s call for an additional $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program in the next phase of federal coronavirus relief, and look forward to working with legislative and community champions to ensure that the program outcomes match its intent.