As the remaining days dwindle for small businesses to apply for loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), both banks and federal officials are being challenged by several House leaders to explain how the $670 billion program intended to aid the nation’s small businesses has actually been operating.
In his prepared remarks, Powell said, “To support the small business sector, we established the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility to bolster the effectiveness of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’s (CARES Act) Paycheck Protection Program… This direct support can make a critical difference not just in helping families and businesses in a time of need, but also in limiting long-lasting damage to our economy.”
The second June 17 Hill hearing, convened by the House Committee on Small Business, was titled “Paycheck Protection Program: Loan Forgiveness and Other Challenges."
The Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by South Carolina’s Rep. Jim Clyburn demanded that the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the Small Business Administration’s Jovita Carranza, and many of the nation’s largest banks “take immediate steps to ensure that remaining PPP funds are allocated to businesses truly in need, and to increase transparency so taxpayers can see whether federal funds are being diverted due to waste, fraud, and abuse.”
Reps. Richard E. Neal (Committee on Ways and Means), Maxine Waters (House Financial Services) and Nydia M. Velazquez (Committee on Small Business) jointly wrote both Mnuchin and Carranza, saying in part, “Transparency is critical to ensure the program is operating as intended…Furthermore, we are deeply concerned that Treasury and SBA have yet to share this information with the Government Accountability Office which is required to report to Congress on the CARES Act by the end of the month.”