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Washington, D.C. – In an op-ed published in The Washington Examiner, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) discussed Congress’s continued actions to protect America’s small businesses. McCarthy highlighted the Paycheck Protection Program, which will ensure that small businesses are ready when America reopens. He also emphasized that Congress will not abandon small businesses or their employees in this unprecedented emergency.

A Marshall Plan For Main Street
The Washington Examiner
Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy
April 3, 2020

For three years, small business optimism has been at record highs. Lower taxes and fewer regulations unleashed the best economy in half a century and gave small businesses the means to hire more employees, pay higher wages, and reinvest capital. These conditions still exist but are being seriously challenged by the coronavirus, a true black swan catastrophe. While our nation continues to fight against this pandemic, we have a responsibility in Congress to help small businesses survive this storm. 

As one of America’s main employers, Main Street is the engine of our economy. There are more than 30 million small businesses in America and nearly 60 million small business employees, according to the Small Business Administration. That is over 47 percent of the entire American workforce. They deserve a government that responds to their needs, especially during moments of crisis.

Before entering politics, I opened a small deli in my hometown of Bakersfield. Two lessons always stuck with me: (1) you’re the first to work, last to leave, and last to get paid; and (2) your employees are your greatest resource. I know from personal experience that small businesses create meaningful opportunities for entrepreneurs, satisfying work for employees, and personalized service for local communities. But I also know how difficult it is to run a small business, even in the best of times.

We will not abandon small businesses or their employees in this unprecedented emergency.

Last week, Congress passed the largest direct assistance program in American history. This bold rescue effort, the third major bill in a month to provide resources to win this fight, includes a tailor-made plan for small businesses that delivers rapid and robust relief: the Paycheck Protection Program.

It is nothing less than a modern, all-American Marshall Plan for Main Street.

With this program, businesses with fewer than 500 employees — including startups, sole-proprietors, and the self-employed — will receive 100 percent federally-guaranteed loans for eight weeks. If the loan is used to pay employees, rent, or utilities, or rehire employees who were laid-off due to the virus, it is forgiven.

Loans will be available as early as Friday, thanks to the Trump Administration’s quick actions. They will run from February 15 to June 30.

Small businesses will not need to navigate government bureaucracy to access these historic loans. Instead, they can work with any FDIC-backed lender.

Similarly, farmers can work with their trusted farm credit institutions to secure loans.

All small businesses should take advantage of these loans as quickly as possible. Applications can be found on the Treasury Department website and must be submitted with payroll documentation to lenders by June 30.

Loans should be accessed immediately, so bills can be paid immediately.

The Paycheck Protection Program will ensure that small businesses are ready when America reopens. It puts workers first, provides relief for businesses, and will help keep tens of millions of Americans on the payroll. Your government is committed to doing whatever it takes, for however long it takes, to keep Main Street afloat.

The coronavirus is the greatest crisis of our lifetime. But this nation has faced greater challenges before, and we have always triumphed in the end. Today, as before, we will work together — until we win, together.

Remember, tough times don’t last, but tough people do.