Two Senate committee chairs want the Small Business Administration to attract more funds to the economic impact disaster lending program. They are asking the SBA to withdraw Covid-19 relief money from aid programs where it has not been spent.
Last week, the SBA urged small business owners in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania to apply for EIDLs related to Hurricane Ida. The SBA announced a June 6 deadline. Within days, the deadline was changed to June 5, with the SBA citing a lack of funding.
SBA said it would use the available money to fund EIDL loans
That’s what Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said. Cardin chairs the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. Hollen chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee. The statement comes from a letter the two wrote to SBA administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman: “By prematurely closing the program, the agency appears to have prioritized its own administrative needs over those of thousands of borrowers awaiting decisions. “In addition, it has done so in a way that has unnecessarily confused borrowers and raised expectations.”
The senators continued: “… if in fact funds remain available that could be transferred under the authority of the IIJA (Infrastructure and Employment Investment Act) to serve the borrowers of the EIDL loan program, SBA should exercise this authority immediately so that pending requests for modifications, hearings and appeals can be processed and funded. “
Can Covid-19 relief money be moved?
Yes, the senators said. They cited a section of the Infrastructure Employment and Investment Act (IIJA), which states that the SBA has the authority to transfer funds from one program to another.
To further clarify their point, senators noted that two months ago, the SBA transferred $ 500,000 from a Covid-19 relief program to replenish its own “administrative funding.”
Covid-19 Relief Fund in figures
The figures vary according to the source, but overall, over the last 2 years there have been 6 Covid-19 relief measures for a total of about $ 4.6 trillion. U.S. spending is an excellent source for in-depth reporting on how much money has been spent or committed (committed) so far.
By the end of January 2022, estimates reported that 87% of that money had been owed. Of the 87% required, 76% was spent (estimates range from $ 3.7 trillion to $ 4 trillion.
Where is the rest of Covid-19’s money?
Covid-19 funds have been “spent little” on education, health care and disaster relief. It is important to know that some money that is described as “insufficient spending” is required, or committed, to be spent in the future. For example, the Covid-19 education aid fund still has $ 200 billion, but the deadline to spend the money is 2026. Of the $ 114 billion for disaster relief, 70 billion remain.
Of this, $ 3 billion remains in the Payment Check Protection Program (PPP). So far, about $ 830 billion has been spent on PPPs. The rest is included in “other categories” of disaster relief money. $ 56 billion in unemployment compensation is still unpaid.
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