BY U.S. REP. BOB LATTA
As we begin a new year, citizens, workers, and small businesses in Ohio still need relief from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Small businesses in Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District have faced many challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. After speaking with restaurant owners, health care professionals, and others in Findlay, Cygnet, Stryker, Elmore, Maumee, Paulding, Napoleon, Van Wert, Genoa, and Wauseon, I learned that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was enacted through the CARES Act, has been a lifeline to small businesses and their employees in Ohio and across the country.
In the Fifth District alone, the PPP was used by more than 6,000 businesses and supported more than 122,000 jobs. Without PPP funding, many of these businesses would not have survived the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, businesses like Bates Recycling in Cygnet. In August, owner and founder Chris Bates shared with me how the PPP allowed employees to keep their paychecks, health insurance and retirement plans, as well as the other benefits the company offers.
Because they were able to keep their operations going through the pandemic, it created a ripple effect. Individuals and scrap dealers who supply Bates Recycling with scape metal, copper, brass, and aluminum cans had a place to sell their material. Companies who rely on these materials continued to get what they needed.
Thankfully, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, has opened the Paycheck Protection Program loan portal so even more businesses can access relief. The portal is currently accepting First and Second Draw PPP loan applications from participating Community Financial Institutions (CFIs), which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs) and Microloan Intermediaries.
Eligible applicants for First Draw Loans that did not receive a PPP loan prior to Aug. 8, now have the ability to apply for a PPP First Draw Loan on or before March 31. First Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.
A Second Draw PPP loan is for certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan, generally have 300 employees or less, and have suffered a 25% reduction in gross receipts. At least $15 billion is set aside for additional PPP lending by CFIs. Eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP First Draw Loan may apply for a PPP Second Draw Loan of up to $2 million with the same general loan terms as their PPP First Draw Loans.
The opening of the SBA loan system is designed to ensure increased access to the PPP for minority-, underserved-, veteran- and women-owned small business concerns. The SBA released a report looking at the numbers through Feb. 7. They found that nationally, 6,438,379 PPP loans totaling more than $623 billion have been approved by 5,468 lenders.
Since PPP re-opened on Jan. 11, SBA has already approved over 1.2 million PPP loans totaling $100,924,718,302. In Ohio alone, 36, 523 PPP loans have been approved totaling $3,065,444,670.
As your representative, I will work to ensure small businesses and their employees have the funding and resources they need to make it through this difficult time.