07.15.20

IN BIG FLATS, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES MAJOR TWO-PRONG PUSH TO GET FED FUNDS TO SOUTHERN TIER SMALL BUSINESSES AND SCHOOLS; FUNDS WILL AID IN SPEEDY AND SAFE REOPENING TO GET REGION’S ECONOMY BACK ON ITS FEET; SURROUNDED BY SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS AND EDUCATION OFFICIALS FROM AROUND THE SOUTHERN TIER, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES PUSH TO REV UP SOUTHERN TIER’S RECOVERY FROM COVID-19

As Senate Reconvenes Next Week And Hundreds of Billions in Federal Aid Will Be Considered, Schumer Pushes To Bring Federal $$$ Directly To Southern Tier Small Businesses & Schools 

Schumer Pushes Vital Legislation To Provide Relief For Southern Tier Small Businesses By Extending PPP To 2021 And Offering New Second Round of Forgivable PPP Assistance To Hardest-Hit Small Businesses, And Provide Funding For Schools To Cover Mounting Cost Of Keeping Students Safe 

Schumer: Saving Small Businesses And Schools Is Vital To Recovery Of The Southern Tier

Standing at Ward Apparatus, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer unveiled his two-pronged push to provide much-needed federal funding for Southern Tier small businesses and schools. First, the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act, or ‘P4’, would provide much-needed relief to Southern Tier small business owners by extending the PPP loan period to the end of the year and providing the option for a second PPP loan for eligible small businesses that are in need of additional assistance to survive. Second, the senator unveiled his new legislative push crafted alongside U.S. Senator Patty Murray, the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA) which will include $175 billion in much-needed assistance for K-12 schools in the ‘Corona-4’ package, a significant amount of which New York would receive.

“Everyone wants small businesses and schools to reopen, but the federal government must do more if that’s going to be possible. First, as New York seeks to recover from the crisis, we need to do even more for businesses hardest-hit by the pandemic, making loans more accessible for small businesses and nonprofits that are struggling the most. Next, the federal government must lead the way by funding the safety measures that would open the doors of schools throughout the Southern Tier in a way that helps ensure the coronavirus does not needlessly spread or infect teachers, kids or staff,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

The senator said that his ‘P4’ legislation will reserve 20% of PPP funds for employers with 10 or fewer employees and ensure priority processing for such businesses and nonprofits, in conjunction with priority processing for underserved and rural borrowers across the Southern Tier, including veterans. To further make sure that the funding is reserved for the hardest-hit small businesses, the ‘P4’ loan will not be available to publicly traded companies.

Schumer noted that New York State Department of Labor statistics show that for the 12-month period ending May 2020, the private sector job count in the Southern tier fell over the year by 32,800, or 14.4 percent, to 194,500 in May 2020. Schumer explained that this data points to a critical need for further federal support to revive the region’s economy, including aid to help small businesses weather the crisis and to put them on a road to recovery as the lynchpins of our communities.

In addition to the devastation in the private sector, Schumer explained that without major help from the federal government, the nation would risk losing 4.5 million child care slots and losing 1.9 million education jobs, exacerbating students’ learning loss. The funding for schools will help cover the mounting cost of reopenings, providing funding for PPE, barriers, cleaning supplies, and other protective gear for students and teachers. Schumer argued that swift federal action to provide funding for both small businesses and schools is necessary to stave off local taxes which would further burden already cash-strapped New Yorkers.

“Without federal dollars to cover the massive costs of PPE, barriers, cleaning supplies and more, local school budgets across Upstate New York would be crushed, local taxes could rise and some schools might simply stay closed—and we do not want that. That’s why we need to take action in ‘COVID-4’ and commit $175 billion to the goal of safely reopening K-12 schools for all,” Schumer added.

Schumer said costs for personal protective equipment (PPE), physical barriers and other supplies at schools, like those used for cleaning, could badly drain local resources, making it much harder for New York districts to open safely and ensure the collective protection of children, teachers and staff. Therefore, he announced a new legislative push to include much-needed assistance in a “Corona-4” legislative package. His plan would work to substantially cover the aforementioned costs with federal dollars, allowing schools to safely reopen. Schumer is pushing for $175 billion dollars for K-12 schools across the country and says New York would see a massive chunk of that allotment.

Schumer’s plan, crafted alongside U.S. Senator Patty Murray, was just introduced as the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA), and includes other efforts as well, each critical to supporting childcare and education amid the pandemic.

Several local leaders joined Schumer in his call for greater federal aid.

“The PPP has provided necessary support for small businesses in Chemung County and the Southern Tier to help mitigate this ongoing economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful for Senator Schumer’s advocacy on behalf of our region and the many small businesses for whom this funding is the difference between recovery and closure. A second round of the PPP is critical in not only helping small business to have access to additional support, but also in allowing ample opportunity for businesses that have not yet taken advantage of this essential program. We applaud Senator Schumer’s determination to ensure the federal government will continue to aid in the economic recovery of our small businesses as well as the countless individuals they employ. This crisis came at a time when we were beginning to see our long term economic revival taking shape; additional funds will be crucial in providing support to small businesses that would otherwise be devastated and to guarantee our region continues to move forward,” said Kamala A. Keeley, President & CEO of the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, Senator Schumer has continuously fought for small businesses and we strongly support the Senator’s efforts to increase access to the PPP by extending through the P4 program. Many businesses did not anticipate that the economic impacts of the coronavirus would go on for as long as they have. The PPP has been critical in aiding businesses to survive the economic shutdown, but only through additional assistance will our small businesses, the backbone of our economy, thrive again. Senator Schumer has been a great partner to Broome County and we thank him for his continued support.” – Stacey Duncan, Executive Director of the Agency and President & CEO of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce.

Details on the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act, or ‘P4’, appear below. ‘P4’ loans:

  • May be as large as 2.5-times monthly payroll costs, just as under initial PPP loans, but may not be any larger than $2 million. (Affiliated businesses with separate locations may pursue separate P4 loans, but in aggregate the loans may not exceed $2 million.)
  • Allow borrowers to apply for forgiveness as early as eight weeks after the loan is disbursed and they have fulfilled payroll requirements, rather than make them opt-in to 8 weeks or wait until the earlier of 24 weeks or December 31, which needlessly increases the cost of the loan as interest accrues, tying up money that could be deployed for paychecks.
  • Are not available to publicly traded companies.
  • Except as otherwise mentioned, are subject to the same terms, conditions, and forgiveness criteria as initial PPP loans.
  • Provide lenders a minimum processing fee of $2,500 per P4 loan to ensure lenders do not lose money by processing small-dollar loans or cherry pick larger loans.

To increase access to PPP (initial and P4) assistance to underserved businesses, the bill reserves the lesser of $25 billion or 20% of PPP funds for employers with 10 or fewer employees, along with priority processing for such firms, harmonized with priority processing for underserved and rural borrowers. The bill also requires SBA within five days to issue guidance, as required by the CARES Act, which instructs lenders to give priority in loan processing and disbursement to underserved and rural borrowers, including veterans. It also requires SBA to update the PPP loan application to collect demographic information on PPP recipients.

Highlighted aspects of the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA) Schumer will fight for in COVID-4 include:

  • $50 billion for a Child Care Stabilization Fund, to ensure that child care providers can stay open, educators can continue getting paid, and working families get tuition relief;
  • $1.5 billion to address and prevent child abuse and neglect, to support the child welfare workforce and to fund community-based prevention programs that strengthen families;
  • $345 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund, including:
    • $175 billion for K-12 schools, to help schools address learning loss, implement public health protocols, and provide quality education to all students—whether they open in-person, remotely, or a hybrid of both;
    • $132 billion for higher education, to help colleges and universities deliver a quality education for their students, implement public health protocols, and provide emergency financial aid to students for expenses like food, housing, child care, and technology;
    • $33 billion for a Governor’s Fund, to allow governors to allocate funds for needed educational services to areas of their states hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • $4 billion for schools to purchase discounted computers, tablets, hotspots, and at-home internet service for students and educators

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