Securing the Future of Small Businesses
Keeping small business open is key in terms of retaining jobs and cultivating innovation regionally. Although data indicates that the economy is improving modestly against the unprecedented contraction in April and June, many small business owners have growing second-wave concerns. However, the outlook remains optimistic: 11% of small businesses report that they added employees since March; 76% recommended El Paso as a place to do business; and 35% of all US small businesses anticipate increased investment next year (up 8% since May).
Nationally, last week the details of the new Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act were released as follow-up legislation to March’s CARES Act. If approved by Congress and the Senate, the proposed legislation would include:
- Expanding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to the hardest hit small businesses to help prevent additional lay offs
- Expanding the PPP forgivable expenses
- Simplifying the forgiveness process for smaller loans
- Extending PPP eligibility to some 501(c)(6) organizations
- Creating new, longer-term SBA low-interest loan program intended to reach businesses in low-income and under-banked communities.
- Instituting protections to limit COVID-19 exposure-related liability lawsuits
Since COVID-19, we have seen widespread bi-partisan support for helping small business across the country, and we are cautiously hopeful that any future legislation will provide immediate relief for our community.