Congress Should Make PPP-Loan-Forgiveness Window Flexible
After the president signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law three years ago, my firm experienced explosive growth and what started out as a one-man show morphed into a five-person team, and I’d like to keep it that way.
In order to do that, though, Congress should reform the “Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides government-backed loans to small business owners like me to weather the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
For example, here in Arizona, while Governor Ducey recently lifted his stay-at-home order, he is keeping the state in the first reopening phase. This phase, among other things, encourages Arizonans to continue limiting non-essential travel, limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer and maintain social-distancing guidelines.
Arizona’s phase-one reopening, while necessary for health and safety, is putting a strain on small businesses and our ability to make money. This, in turn, makes it difficult to keep staff on payroll. In many other states, small businesses remain closed as “stay-at-home” orders remain in effect. Even some small businesses allowed to begin reopening aren’t yet fully operational.
“Small businesses employ almost fifty percent of American workers. Yet, our results underscore the financial fragility of many small businesses, and how deeply affected they are by the current crisis,” reads the report.
The small businesses still standing need all the help they can get. Congress should afford small-business owners the loan-forgiveness flexibility they need.
Carlos Ruiz is president and CEO of HT Metals in Tucson, Arizona and past chairman of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board of directors. He is a member of Job Creators Network.