The Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act would provide $350 billion to help prevent workers from losing their jobs and small businesses from going under due to economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Paycheck Protection Program would provide 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to small employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If the employer maintains its payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to recover quickly from this crisis. This proposal would be retroactive to February 15, 2020, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls.
Paycheck Protection Program
- Small employers with 500 employees or fewer, as well as those that meet the current Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards, would be eligible to apply for the loans. Self-employed individuals and “gig economy” individuals would also be eligible.
- Covered payroll costs include salary, wages, and payment of cash tips (up to an annual rate of pay of $100,000); employee group health care benefits, including insurance premiums; retirement contributions; and covered leave.
- The size of the loans would equal 250 percent an employer’s average monthly payroll. The maximum loan amount would be $10 million.
- The cost of participation in the program would be reduced for both borrowers and lenders by providing fee waivers, an automatic deferment of payments for one year, and no prepayment penalties.
- Loans would be available immediately through existing SBA-certified lenders, including banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, and SBA would be required to streamline the process to bring additional lenders into the program.
- The Secretary of Treasury would be authorized to expedite the addition of new lenders and make further enhancements to expedite delivery of capital to small employers.
- The bill would provide $350 billion to support these loans.
- The maximum loan amount for SBA Express loans would be increased from $350,000 to $1 million.
- Express loans provide borrowers with revolving lines of credit for working capital purposes.
The bill would provide grants to SBA resource partners, including Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers, to offer counseling, training, and related assistance to small businesses affected by COVID-19. The bill would also provide funding for the Minority Business Development Agency’s Minority Business Centers to provide these services.
The bill would protect to small business contractors affected by COVID-19 by requiring Federal agencies to extend contract performance periods and promptly pay small business contractors.
Emergency EIDL Grants
The bill would allow for expedited access to capital by establishing a program for small businesses who have applied for an EIDL loan to request an advance of up to $10,000 on the loan to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintain payroll, and pay other debt obligations.
SBA Resources for Businesses
The bill would authorize SBA to offer resources and services in the 10 most commonly spoken languages, other than English.
Small Business Debt Relief
The bill would require SBA to pay all principal, interest, and fees on all existing SBA loan products, including 7(a), Community Advantage, 504, and Microloan programs, for six months.