Letter to Jovita Carranza , Admin. of the Small Business Administration - Byrne Leads Bipartisan Letter Urging More Help for Small Businesses


Date: April 16, 2020

Dear Administrator Carranza:

Thank you for your leadership in helping American small businesses weather the COVID19 pandemic. The SBA has been tasked with some of the most important components of our
economic recovery, and we appreciate your work in quickly facilitating billions of dollars in
lending to our nation's small businesses.

We write to seek information and guidance from the SBA regarding Economic Injury
Disaster Loans (EIDLs), how your agency is meeting the challenges facing this program, and how
Congress can assist the SBA. As you are aware, millions of small business owners are waiting for
a response from the SBA regarding EIDL loans and applications for a CARES Act grant. Based
upon the CARES Act's requirement that these grants be distributed within three days, many small
business owners have been confused and frustrated regarding the status of their loan and grant

The guidance from the SBA to our offices has been that we should direct constituents to
contact the SBA for these inquiries; however, we have received reports of long wait times and
unsatisfactory answers regarding loan status when inquiries are placed. Many of our constituents
have struggled to even determine if their loan application has been received. At present, we lack
a sufficient casework channel for our staff to assist these constituents, which has further
exacerbated the problem.

We are also greatly concerned regarding reports of severe oversubscription of the EIDL
program. Given the average request of a $200,000 loan and a $10,000 grant, many small
businesses simply cannot weather the COVID-19 crisis if initial distributions are limited to as little
as $15,000 for loans and grants are rationed by number of employees. For that reason, we would
strongly back an appropriations request by the Administration to allow the EIDL program to meet
the average demand of requests received.

In sum, we recognize the EIDL system was never designed to process a disaster of this
magnitude, and we commend your team for working around the clock to remedy this challenge.
However, we are concerned that many small businesses cannot wait much longer to receive EIDL
funds from the federal government. Many of these businesses and other organizations need EIDL
funds to supplement their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, are not good candidates for
the PPP due to its requirements or are not eligible for that program at all. For that reason, we hope
you will provide a briefing to us as soon as possible to address issues facing the EIDL program
and how Congress can help the SBA meet these challenges.

Thank you for your attention to this letter. We look forward to continuing to work with
the SBA as you help our small businesses weather this unprecedented time.