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Luria: Paycheck Protection Program helped retain 70K jobs in Coastal Virginia

Elaine LuriaCongresswoman Elaine Luria said Tuesday that the Paycheck Protection Program provided financial assistance to 10,969 Coastal Virginia businesses, helping retain 69,858 jobs.

“As a former small business owner, I know that small business owners across our nation depend on economic relief programs to make ends meet during this challenging time,” said Luria. “While I am glad that the Paycheck Protection Program helped retain nearly 70,000 jobs in our community, the SBA’s data was inadequate, and I know there is more work to be done. I will continue reaching across the aisle to advocate for more transparency and to ensure all business owners have an equal chance of receiving this assistance.”

The SBA separated its data by PPP loans of $150,000 or less and PPP loans of over $150,000. Over 85 percent of the loans distributed to local businesses are valued at under $150,000. The data only reported the exact sizes of loans of under $150,000, which provided $336 million to business owners in Hampton Roads.

The SBA dataset did not include important metrics, such as the amount of aid requested by small businesses in comparison to the amount they received. In addition, its numbers on the genders, ethnicities, and veteran statuses of business owners were incomplete, with most fields marked as “unanswered.”

In March, Luria voted for the CARES Act, which established the PPP. Under the SBA-administered PPP, small businesses and nonprofits can receive forgivable loans to cover payroll and other costs. Since the CARES Act became law, Congresswoman Luria has worked to hold the SBA accountable to Coastal Virginians.

Last month, Luria supported the PPP Data and Diversity Accountability Act to require the SBA to collect and report on demographic data to show how many PPP applicants are minority, women, or veteran business owners. Luria also championed the TRUTH Act and the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. The TRUTH Act aims to provide small business owners access to an online, searchable, sortable, and downloadable PPP database.

If signed into law, the PPP Flexibility Act will make it easier for small businesses and nonprofits to benefit from PPP funds by eliminating red tape and arbitrary payroll expense requirements to have PPP loans forgiven.

augusta free press
augusta free press