Coronavirus Crisis – New Paycheck Protection Program Offers Real Relief for Small Business
By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) 
March 30, 2020 
Fox Business
Millions of Americans are staring into the abyss. They are scared that they or their family will fall victim to a deadly global pandemic and paralyzed at the prospect of businesses closing, paychecks vanishing, and personal savings evaporating. They need cash and they need it fast.
Fortunately, the bill Congress passed Friday provides exactly that relief, in the form of something called the Paycheck Protection Program.
This $350 billion program — a bipartisan effort developed with Senators Susan Collins, R-Me., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Ben Cardin, D-Md. and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., — will immediately get cash in the hands of small and midsize businesses to keep Americans tied to their jobs.
For small businesses and their lenders, it would essentially mirror the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) existing 7(a) loan program with more relaxed underwriting standards, a full federal guarantee and broader allowable uses.
Most importantly, so long as the business uses the loan for payroll costs like salaries and cash tips, as well as debt obligations like mortgage, rent, utilities, and insurance premiums, it would be forgiven in full — in other words, this is guaranteed cash to keep workers employed, leases paid and businesses open with no strings attached.
This program proposal wouldn’t comprise a new government interaction; instead, we’re relying on our existing network of preferred lenders under this SBA program, which comprises over 1,000 lenders, including 800 banks — many of which are community banks — and directs the Treasury Department and SBA to fast track even more into the program.
As we fight this public health crisis, the most important thing that we can do for our nation’s small businesses and their employees is to provide some certainty — certainty to businesses that they can keep their employees, certainty to employees that they can remain on the payroll and certainty that the connection between employer and employee will remain intact after this crisis passes.
Our nation stands amidst an extraordinary, world-altering moment, which is why we must do everything we can to guarantee the security of a job to return to for as many Americans as possible, as well as help avoid the start-up costs and impediments businesses face while hiring and training new employees.
Preserving our nation’s economic engine, as well as the vitality of millions of hard-working Americans and their families is critical for our economic recovery.