Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, will introduce, and attempt to pass in the Senate by unanimous consent, a targeted proposal to immediately open up the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) loan program, offered by banks nationwide, to provide near-term relief to America’s small businesses that face payroll and operational challenges due to economic effects from the coronavirus pandemic. Last night in his address to the nation, President Trump called on Congress to pass legislation giving the SBA more resources to provide relief to small businesses, and Chairman Rubio announced that his committee would immediately get to work on a bipartisan bill.

“This morning, I will be moving to act on the President’s request to Congress that he outlined last night in his address to the nation,” Chairman Rubio said. “Specifically, I will introduce and attempt to pass a plan in the Senate today that puts forward a targeted proposal to help our nation’s small businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus. 

“By increasing the SBA’s current 7(a) loan program by $50 billion, this program, which is offered by banks across our nation, will provide small businesses with access to much-needed capital to make payroll and provide paid sick leave for employees who miss work as a result of the coronavirus,” Chairman Rubio continued. “Additionally, this proposal will waive all fees for 7(a) loans for one year for both lenders and borrowers, as well as increase the loan guarantees. These are decisive steps that I believe will enjoy strong bipartisan support, and I am hopeful that every one of my colleagues will join me in this effort to prevent people from losing their jobs and our small businesses from going bankrupt.”

Specifically, Chairman Rubio’s bill would:
  • Increase the 7(a) loan program, which includes the Community Advantage pilot program, authorization level by $50 billion. 
  • Allow any 7(a) borrower to use the proceeds of the loan for payroll support, including paid sick leave.
  • Waive all fees for all 7(a) loans for one year for both lenders and borrowers. 
  • Provide a 90 percent loan guarantee for all loans, no matter the size. 
  • Increase the loan limit for SBA Express from $350,000 to $1 million. This program currently provides an accelerated turnaround time of 36 hours for SBA review, and provides a revolving line of credit for small businesses. 
  • For Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) made in response to coronavirus not exceeding $350,000, allows SBA to determine repayment ability based solely on an applicant’s credit score, and not require to find that the applicant is unable to obtain credit elsewhere.
  • Utilize existing disaster subsidy balance to support any subsidy costs and prevent the need for an appropriation.