Sentaors Perdue, Loeffler Urge Action To Support Small Businesses During Coronavirus Pandemic

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, March 20th, 2020

As former business leaders, U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) are working to ensure small businesses have the flexibility and certainty they need to protect their employees and serve their customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Credit Union Administration Chairman Mark McWatters, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Jelena McWilliams, and U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza, the senators outlined ways to free up liquidity and ease the federal burden on small businesses.

“Businesses and their employees face unique risks and challenges from COVID-19,” wrote the senators. “This is particularly true for small businesses and their employees that are supported by the traveling public, including the hotel, hospitality, sporting event, entertainment and restaurant industries. These small businesses face staggering cash flow and liquidity challenges as travel continues to slow as a result of COVID-19.”

The senators encouraged the agencies to take specific actions as quickly as possible:

Remove any unnecessary regulatory barriers to Small Business Administration (SBA) loans

Provide increased guidance on SBA loans included in the COVID-19 Emergency Supplemental

Allow federal borrowers to enter into loan workouts and restructuring to avoid foreclosure

Allow federal borrowers to temporarily defer the principal portion of the monthly payment and make an interest-only payment

Stress the need for banking regulators to recalibrate their safety and soundness examinations to ensure that they are not actively discouraging banks from providing loan workouts for businesses impacted by COVID-19