It would provide liquidity to companies which have been hurt by COVID-19.
Washington DC (KM) Small and medium-size businesses, and non-profit organizations which have suffered financially from the coronavirus emergency could be getting some assistance from a bill introduced last Friday. The Main Street Emergency Grant Program would allow these companies to apply for grants through the US Department of the Treasury to cover fixed costs like payroll and rent. Those grants would revert to loans that would have to be paid back only if the company fails to prove its; meeting criteria. It would also give mid-size businesses access to forgivable loans.
The legislation is sponsored by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore) Senator Van Hollen says with all of the talk about assisting airlines, hotels, cruise lines and other travel-related companies, we must not forget small businesses. “Small businesses are just getting hammered as you can imagine having to lay people off,” he says. “Their bills are still due and they’re owing. They still have these commercial mortgage payment to make. Some small businesses have mortgaged their homes as collateral. So my view we need to get them essentially zero-interest loans that can be forgiven at the end of the day.”
In addition to assisting small businesses, Senator Van Hollen says there needs to be efforts to strengthen the unemployment compensation system. “Lots of people are either furloughed or out of a job due to no fault of their own,”he says He also any unemployment compensation should also include independent contractors.
But Van Hollen says he’s not enthused about one idea being discussed in Washington. “I’m not a huge fan of this proposal to provide $1500 to every adult in the country,” he says. “I don’t need $1,000 dollars, and there are other people continuing to work,and they don’t need $1,000.”
Senator Van Hollen was a guest recently on WFMD’s “Morning News Express.”
The Main Street Emergency Grant Program was unveiled on Friday.
By Kevin McManus