By Rebeca Romero Rainey
If community bankers were waiting for the right time to contact Congress and urge needed reforms to the Paycheck Protection Program, the wait is over. The Senate is now considering Paycheck Protection Program reforms after the House last week passed separate legislation to modify the program. It is important to press Congress for the best reforms possible.
To advocate greater PPP flexibility and maximize the benefit of the program's small-business loans, ICBA is calling on community bankers nationwide to use our Be Heard grassroots action center. We also offer a customizable message for small-business owners that community bankers can share with their customers to urge the Senate to act.
These customizable messages to lawmakers advocate various reforms, such as providing small businesses more time to spend PPP funds and reducing how much must be spent on payroll costs so more loans can be fully forgiven.
Another important ICBA policy would allow a forgiveness presumption of compliance for loans of $1 million or less if borrowers certify that they used their funds in accordance with the terms of the program. This is a critical policy that would reduce the complexity of loan forgiveness for small businesses and allow business owners to focus on the safety of their employees and customers. Congress has remained unwilling to provide this relief, so your advocacy now is more important than ever.
Because the forgiveness rules and procedures that have been outlined for small businesses and lenders are far too complex, small-business borrowers need these reforms to ensure PPP loans are the economic lifeline that Congress intended.
Community bankers have worked tirelessly to deliver PPP loans to small businesses. Let's all continue our efforts through our grassroots outreach and by enlisting the support of our small-business customers to maximize the benefit of the PPP to the local economies we all serve.
Rebeca Romero Rainey
President and CEO/
Independent Community Bankers of America