(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) today joined Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10) in called on the Small Business Administration (SBA) to accept new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applicants and provide current applicants with an update on their loan status. Nearly 100 House Members co-signed the letter which was co-led by Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee Nydia Velázquez and Chairman of the Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee, charged with funding the SBA, Mike Quigley.
“Far too many small business in my district and around the country have waited weeks to hear from the SBA about their EIDL application. The last thing these businesses need is more uncertainty in the midst of this crisis. The SBA must immediately provide these applicants with an update on the status of their application so that they can make informed decisions about their business’s financial future,” said Schneider. “We also call on the SBA to provide Congress with the necessary loan data so that we can exercise our constitutional duty in overseeing the EIDL program, and make sure that the SBA has the resources it needs to ensure the back-end of the program.”
"This crisis has caused unprecedented hardship for small businesses across the country. For these struggling small business owners, EIDL is a vital lifeline that can provide a way to keep their business afloat through working capital," said Chairwoman Velázquez. “We must take steps to improve this program, so applicants know where they stand in the process, and capital flows to the businesses most in need. Many entrepreneurs are fighting for the future of their business, and we owe it to them to make sure this critical program is operating to its potential.”
“Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Loan Advance provide funds that are a lifeline for small businesses. It is absolutely critical that they function effectively,” said Quigley. “Congress provided additional funds for this program specifically because we recognized the demand and its importance. It has been increasingly frustrating to learn that funds aren’t getting out the door and that new borrowers are blocked from applying. I join my colleagues in support of small businesses and I encourage SBA to take steps to improve the functionality of this program.”
The oversight letter called on the SBA to enact a queue for new applicants to the EIDL program to ensure all small businesses can make use of new Congressionally-enacted funding; a mechanism to update EIDL applicants on the status of their loan application; daily updates on loan data to Congress; and, to communicate with Congress about the technical strains on funding disbursement.
While the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) strives to help workers and businesses weather the near-term economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak, the EIDL program is meant to equip businesses with the necessary working capital to plan for their long-term financial future. These loans, with long-term repayment options, provide America’s small businesses with the financial wherewithal to ensure they can outlast the immediate economic uncertainty and make the necessary investments towards long-term success.
As a member of the House Small Business Committee, Schneider has been active in oversight over the historic funding Congress has provided the SBA. He has joined letters calling on the Trump Administration to properly execute Congressional intent on both the PPP and EIDL programs, has spoken before the House Small Business Committee on the critical need to get answers to EIDL applicants and guidance to PPP lenders. Schneider has also hosted several webinars to help constituent small businesses and non-profit organizations access these crucial programs.
A copy of the letter is available here.