Peters Statement on Senate Passage of Assistance for Michigan Small Businesses, Hospitals, Testing

DETROIT, MI U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today released the following statement on Senate passage of legislation to provide additional funding for the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), hospitals and testing:

“I’ve consistently said we need to do more to support Michigan small businesses — and this bipartisan package will provide more much-needed federal funding for the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program. I fought to ensure this bipartisan package included relief for small businesses, including women and minority-owned businesses. This bill also includes important resources for hospitals and health care providers as well as investments in testing, which is key toward efforts to reopen our economy.

“There’s no question we have more work to do. I’ll keep pushing for oversight of the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program to ensure relief goes to small businesses that need help the most. I will also continue working to advance the COVID-19 Heroes Fund to give a pay raise to essential frontline workers and provide more assistance to state and local governments so they can continue providing vital services.”

The bipartisan legislation that passed the Senate includes:

  • $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $60 billion of which is dedicated to small lenders and community-based financial institutions to serve the needs of unbanked and underserved small businesses and nonprofits, including in rural communities
    • $30 billion of these small lenders funds will specifically assist Community Development Financial Institutions, Minority Depository Institutions and other community-focused lenders;
  • $50 billion for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program;
  • $10 billion for the SBA’s Emergency Economic Injury Grant program;
  • $75 billion in emergency funding for our health system, including for hospitals and personal protective equipment; and  
  • $25 billion to increase testing capabilities, with $11 billion of that dedicated for states.

Peters has vocally advocated for more funding for small businesses, hospitals and health care professionals as well as to drastically expand testing efforts.

Among those efforts, Peters pressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to include specific funding for small community-based lenders, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). According to the Treasury Department, only 78 of 950 CDFIs participated in the PPP, largely affecting minority-owned businesses including those in low-income neighborhoods.

Peters helped secure relief for small businesses in the CARES Act, including to help Michigan small businesses stay afloat during the Coronavirus pandemic. The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. In Michigan, over 43,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans were approved before the program ran out of funding, totaling nearly $10.4 billion through resources from the CARES Act.