The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Save Small Business Coalition which represents thousands of small businesses, banks, credit unions, financial institutions, and employees strongly support S. 4117, “The Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act”, sponsored by Senators Kevin Cramer, Bob Menendez, Thom Tillis and Kyrsten Sinema. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), established by Congress in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, has provided millions of small businesses the economic relief they need to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. This bipartisan legislation would ensure our nation’s small business owners can focus their time, energy, and resources back into their business and communities instead of allocating significant time and resources into completing complex forgiveness forms.
In order to help our nation’s smallest businesses, we urge Congress to quickly pass this legislation that would forgive PPP loans of less than $150,000 upon the borrower’s completion of a simple, one-page forgiveness document. PPP loans of $150,000 and under account for 86 percent of total PPP recipients, but less than 27 percent of PPP loan dollars. Expediting the loan forgiveness process for many of these hard-hit businesses will save more than $7 billion dollars and hours of paperwork.
Data provided in an independent analysis by AQN Strategies (AQN) has shown an estimated benefit of issuing auto-forgiveness for various loan size thresholds.1 AQN anticipates the combined resource requirements of operators’ time and/or third-party expenses to represent an effective cost of $2,000-$4,000 for each business that applies for forgiveness, requiring 20-100 hours of focused time from key leaders of these businesses. With an average loan size of less than $19,000 for the smallest 60 percent of loans, this estimate would represent 10-20 percent of the loan amount itself, which is otherwise intended to support payroll, rent, and other obligations necessary to keep businesses alive and ready to restart. In addition, AQN’s analysis suggests that the cost to businesses and lenders would be lower than the cost for the government to auto- forgive loans.
Small businesses and their employees are the backbone of our nation’s economy and communities. Their time and resources would be better focused on getting the economy safely back up and running, not processing burdensome paperwork. We strongly support S. 4117 and look forward to working with you, the Committee, and the 116th Congress to pass this bill and have it signed into law. Thank you for your strong, common sense leadership on such a critical issue.
Scott M. Ashton, CEO Oceanside Chamber of Commerce