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Last week, Congress voted to extend the Paycheck Protection Program application deadline until August 8 — an eleventh hour move just before the original June 30 cutoff passed.
Start Us Up members have been active on this issue. In last week’s lead up to the initial deadline, for example, Start Us Up member Small Business Majority released stories of struggling small business owners and reiterated its calls for reform to the program:
“PPP has failed me. During the stay-at-home orders we were open the entire time, helping to serve those families who need us, and we were glad to help. But with business down and most clients not bringing their children to daycare, our business has taken a very hard hit. Now, we have been told that we will not qualify for PPP, despite our desperate need. We are running out of options, and we worry about staying open and being able to afford our operational costs, mortgage, and our staff.”
“It took research and applying with eight different lenders before my PPP application was approved. Nothing about the process was easy. In a time of crisis, when my business came to a standstill, I encountered obstacles time and again. I know countless other small businesses that are struggling right now, and time is of the essence to get assistance in hand.”
Though some may point to the recent jobs report as evidence of economic progress, the reality is that hardships persist for many entrepreneurs — made worse by growing COVID-19 cases. And while the extended PPP deadline may offer a necessary lifeline for some businesses, continued action is necessary to rescue entrepreneurship in America.
We invite you to read Small Business Majority’s recommendations, as well as those put forth in our COVID-19 response plan. Most notably, we want to stress the need for technical assistance funding to reduce information barriers as the crisis drags on.
Underserved entrepreneurs have fewer connections to relevant resources than existing business owners do. One of the biggest advantages for a connected entrepreneur is getting support from skilled professionals, such as through strong networks, cooperative platforms, co-working hubs, and high-quality incubators and accelerators. We need to open that access up to more new businesses in a way that is culturally specific. -Rebuilding Better
As we stressed in last week’s July 4th blog post: for a country founded as a startup nation, America has long taken new and small businesses for granted — the extent to which has been made clearer since COVID hit.
To our entrepreneurs: we see and hear you, and we remain committed to amplifying your needs to policymakers everywhere.
To coalition members: keep up the fight. Entrepreneurs and the American economy are depending on it.