REP LIEU INTRODUCES BILL TO HELP BUSINESSES KEEP EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS SAFE DURING PANDEMIC

July 31, 2020
Press Release
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) introduced the Reopen Small Businesses Safely Act, which would direct the Small Business Administration to allow COVID-19-related emergency loans to be used to cover health and safety business improvements. The bill, which is cosponsored by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Angie Craig (D-MN), Thomas Suozzi (D-NY), Ed Case (D-HI), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), would enable Economic Injury Disaster Loan borrowers to purchase items that ensure the health and safety of employees and customers in light of the pandemic. Rep. Lieu previously sent a letter with 27 Members of Congress to the SBA asking to address this issue.
 
"In order to operate in our new reality, businesses need necessary resources to protect workers and customers," Rep. Lieu said. "Allowing EIDL loans to be used for safety and mitigation activities such as purchasing personal protective equipment, touchless point-of-sale systems, and glass partitions will ensure the health and safety of employees and customers. This bill is a common-sense way to support businesses that want to operate safely during this pandemic."
 
This bill is supported by: Small Business for America's Future, Small Business Council of America and the Small Business Legislative Council
 
Chair of the SBLC’s Board of Directors Paul Bellantone, President and CEO of the Promotional Products Association International:
“Congress should change the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program’s rules to include purchases of personal protective equipment as an approved business expense that is eligible for forgiveness. This would allow borrowers to use those funds to secure critical protective equipment that is needed for employees to return to work.”

 

The Small Business Council of America (SBCA) Chair, Paula Calimafde:

“The SBCA is proud to stand in support of this bill. Allowing businesses to use EIDL loan funds to purchase the equipment necessary to protect their employees and customers and prevent the spread of COVID-19 is common sense.  This move will be particularly impactful for small businesses and their employees given the very limited resources and revenue that many small businesses are trying to operate with during these difficult times.”
 

Small Business for America’s Future:
"The EIDL is a crucial lifeline for small businesses owners hoping to make it through and we fully support Rep. Ted W. Lieu's common sense request that the Small Business Administration allow EIDL loan recipients to count expenses for COVID-19 safety compliance as working capital expenditures under the program. To do their part to contain the virus, small businesses must create a safe workspace for their employees and their customers and they must be able to use their EIDL loans for the associated costs. Expenses for small business owners are piling up at a time when revenue is down, and they need all the help they can get to survive. A recent Small Business for America's Future survey shows that 56% of small business owners have spent money to reopen safely and 58% have new debt related to the crisis. Let's help them shoulder the financial burden associated with opening safely. Doing so will help us all. After all, the health of our economy depends on the health of our small business sector, which employs half the country's private sector workers."

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