Nevada Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, have introduced a bill to raise the cap on a federal loan program to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill would remove a cap of $150,000 per business that the Small Business Administration placed on Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Congress set a maximum of $2 million.
“As we work to address the impacts of COVID-19 on our economy, we must take further steps to support small businesses in Nevada and across the country who are in urgent need of assistance,” Rosen said in a statement.
The bill would also restore a flat $10,000 per business limit on advance grants issued through the same program. The SBA capped the grants at $1,000 per employee up to $10,000, meaning businesses with only a few employees could not qualify for the full amount.
“Many of our state’s most vulnerable businesses are minority-owned, and this additional support will help to provide a lifeline, allowing many of Nevada’s minority small businesses to keep their doors open,” Rosen said.
The bill would also provide another $100 billion for the loan program and $80 billion for the grant program, which has run dry.
As of June 27, some 22,448 businesses in Nevada had received a combined $1.45 billion from the loan program. Through July 3, another 52,242 businesses in the state received about $167.3 million in advance grants.
The Henderson, Las Vegas and Reno and Sparks chambers of commerce, as well as the Urban Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas, have voiced support for the bill.
“This important legislation will provide more capital to small businesses that are in true need of help, while also giving them greater flexibility in how to spend those funds to support their business and employees’ jobs,” said Mary Beth Sewald, the president and CEO of the Vegas Chamber.