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Spano's PPP Improvement Bill Gains Momentum, Garners Sponsors

Press Release

U.S. Representative Ross Spano's (FL-15) bill, H.R. 7397, is picking up momentum in Congress. As of today, 6 cosponsors have signed on to the bill which would allow Chambers of Commerce to access and receive loans through the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Payroll Protection Program (PPP). The "PPP' program has saved over 50+ Million jobs nationally, including assisting over 6,900 business in Florida's 15th Congressional district and saving over 68,000 local jobs.

"As a former small business owner and chamber member, I know how critical Chamber organizations are in helping and assisting small businesses," said Spano. Adding, "I am working hand in hand with our local chambers to save jobs and save livelihoods and get our economy back on track."

Under current law, only certain small businesses, 501 (c)(3) non-profits, sole proprietorships, and 501(c)(19)'s are eligible to receive PPP loans. Most recently Spano's bill earned praise from local chambers, with many of them expressing the vital assistance this bill would provide in helping local small businesses. H.R. 7937 mirrors Senate legislation S. 3992, currently being championed by Senators Marco Rubio (FL) and Ted Cruz (TX).

As of today, the SBA has made over 4.9 million PPP loans through over 5,400 participating lenders nationwide.

Co-sponsors of the bill released the following statements in support of H.R. 7397:

Rep. Greg Steube (FL-17) said: "Our Chambers of Commerce have been critically important in helping our local businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to be there for support during the recovery process ahead. These organizations deserve the same relief as they work to fulfill their mission to keep local business booming through pro-growth initiatives and essential coalition building."

"Chambers of Commerce across Hawaii have marshalled resources, information and funding to help local businesses survive COVID-19. However, even as these non-profit organizations disseminated vital information on the Paycheck Protection Program, they were shut out from applying. The Paycheck Protection Program has served as a lifeline to so many other Hawaii businesses and non-profits. I'm proud to lead this bipartisan effort to ensure that Chambers in Hawaii and across the country have equal access to PPP funding, which will assist them in continuing their important work on behalf of local, small businesses." Rep. Ed Case (HI-01).

Rep. Jim Hagedorn (MN-1) added: "Local Chambers of Commerce provide resources that are essential to local small businesses and communities, especially during difficult economic times. This legislation will help keep local Chambers strong and operating, which will help lead the resurgence of our economy."

Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-2) said: "With funds still available in the Paycheck Protection Program, it is important to support organizations that help local small businesses maintain jobs. That is why I am cosponsoring H.R. 7397 -- Amend the Small Business Act. This Senate companion bill will allow local chambers of commerce and tourism to receive these important loans to promote jobs."

"I am proud to co-sponsor H.R. 7397, establishing eligibility for Chambers of Commerce to participate in the paycheck protection program, and I applaud Rep. Spano's leadership on this critical matter. As we all know, our local Chambers of Commerce have long been in the business of growing our communities one business at a time. They are the indispensable engines of local business development. Now more than ever, we need to bolster small businesses--not to mention growing them--during this unprecedented pandemic. Quite frankly, I was taken aback that our Chambers of Commerce, themselves small businesses, had been excluded from the original CARES package. Our bill, when signed into law by President Trump, will correct that oversight." Rep. Randy K. Weber (TX-14)

"I've long said that programs like PPP should not pick winners and losers. That's why I'm proud to support Rep. Spano's legislation, which ensures that 501(c)(6) nonprofits, like chambers of commerce, have the same access to PPP that other nonprofits and small businesses do. I urge leadership to bring this bill to the floor for a vote." Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21)

To read bill text, click HERE. For more information visit Spano.House.Gov.