Senator Introduced Bipartisan Proposal to Help Hardest-Hit Businesses Through Public Health and Economic Crisis
Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement after Senate passage of a bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and make loan forgiveness more flexible. On May 5, Bennet outlined the changes that would become the RESTART Act with U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), the only bipartisan proposal that looks beyond June to help small businesses reopen and stay afloat through the end of the year. The RESTART Act includes an extension of the time that PPP recipients would have to deploy their funds and receive loan forgiveness, as well as a new loan program to provide support for the next six months of expenses to the hardest-hit business, and loan forgiveness based on their revenue declines.
“Expanding the amount of time and flexibility businesses have to use PPP funds and receive forgiveness is essential but insufficient to address the crisis they face. If we want to see small businesses reopen and stay open, we need to help them weather the second half of the year,” said Bennet. “My bipartisan RESTART Act would provide a much-needed lifeline to the hardest-hit businesses, like restaurants, hotels and motels, theaters and concert venues, and gyms. We should work quickly to pass the RESTART program into law so our Main Street businesses can survive and get to the other side of the pandemic.”
The RESTART Act would create a new loan program to support small- and mid-sized businesses and nonprofits through 2020, with no interest due in the first year, no principal due in the first two years, and up to seven years to pay back the loan. Most importantly, this legislation would forgive a portion of that loan based on how much their revenues declined this year compared to last year.
The RESTART Act is supported by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, and the National Independent Venue Association.