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Ranking Member Chabot: It’s Time for Congress to Pass Small Business Relief
WASHINGTON - Today, House Committee on Small Business Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH) spoke on the House floor in support of the small business provisions in the COVID relief package.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
I thank the gentleman/gentlelady for yielding.
Mr./Madam Speaker, for months now, our nation’s entrepreneurs and small business owners have been pleading for additional help from Congress. The Fourth Quarter Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index found that nearly three-quarters of small business owners said more federal relief is important for their success in 2021.
While I am relieved that Congress is finally acting on those cries for help, I am dismayed that it has taken us this long. I introduced a bill in September that could have been brought to the floor at any time. That bill included many of these same provisions we are voting on today. Instead, the House considered bills about marijuana and online conspiracy theories.
It’s an embarrassment that it took this long because every moment of delay has put more small businesses at risk of permanent closure. These restaurants, bars, shops, and manufacturers employ nearly half of American workers and form the bedrock of communities across the country.
Fortunately, the provisions in today’s relief package will bring critical assistance to these small business workers and their families. The Paycheck Protection Program, which has supported over 50 million employees, will be reopened for new and second time applicants. Funds will be reserved for very small businesses and community lenders. The list of eligible expenses will be expanded so that owners can purchase PPE to keep employees and their loved ones safe.
There are many more details in the package—too many to go into here—but the bottom line is this: these provisions will bring meaningful help to millions of Americans. Just in my own district in Cincinnati and the surrounding area, a PPP loan helped keep 140 employees on the payroll at the Silver Spring House restaurant. A PPP loan enabled HomeWell Care Services, an assisted living facility, to continue their important work for our community’s elderly population. Finally, the folks at Neyer Plumbing used PPP funding to carry on as an essential business.
These are real people with families to support and bills to pay. That’s why it’s so important we pass this package without delay.
Small businesses and their employees are tough, resilient, and unyielding. Across the country, we hear stories about small businesses giving back to their communities, even when they are struggling themselves. It’s time for Congress to meet the moment and get additional help in the hands of working Americans.
I urge my colleagues to vote yes on this long overdue legislation.
I yield back.