New Pandemic Relief Bill Provides Funds for Minority and Female-Owned SMBs

The new Pandemic Relief Bill passed by Congress provides an additional $284 billion for PPP loans that include SMBs owned by women and minority entrepreneurs. Moreover, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have a second chance of taking out a loan from the Payroll Protection Package originally created in the CARES Act enacted in March. To qualify, second-chance PPP loan applicants must be able to show proof of having incurred losses of 25% or higher in 2020, and if higher than their 2019 revenue,

Negotiations over the new pandemic relief provisions took months of partisan wrangling before the bill finally mustered approval in December 20, 2020. The enactment of the bill though has been stalled as outgoing president Trump surprised everyone, particularly GOP senators, by refusing to sign the bill unless the amount of stimulus paycheck sent as direct payment to Americans be raised from $600 to $2,000.

Trump’s Change of Heart Nixes Enactment of Pandemic Relief Bill

So near and yet so far, this must be the general sentiment of the millions of Americans who for a moment heaved a sigh of relief that financial help was finally coming their way. At the moment everything is at a standstill as the wrangling over the amount of stimulus check to dole out as financial aid continues.

The Republican senators had strongly blocked Democratic lawmakers’ push for a $1,200 stimulus paycheck during the months-long negotiations, as they were of the belief that Trump will approve only up to $300. After all, Trump even attempted to override Congress by issuing an Executive Order to issue stimulus checks of $300 while Senate Leader Mitch McConnel kept stalling with formal negotiation proceedings by letting senators spend their customary session breaks.

Naturally, the Dems are taking advantage of Trump’s sudden change of heart, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi immediately calling on members of Congress to immediately take action in granting Trump’s magnanimous request of raising the stimulus check amount to $2,000. However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Grassley voiced apprehensions that in light of the government’s nearly depleted 2020 budget, granting individual stimulus checks as huge as $2,000 to millions of Americans will forced the government to shutdown.

Now the Republican Senators have been placed in an awkward position, of being the only stumbling block in bringing the much needed financial aid to American citizens this Christmas. While a pro-forma session was held at the Lower House on December 24, 2020 to have the matter threshed out immediately, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blocked the proposal to increase the stimulus check amount to $2,000 as requested by Trump.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement challenging Trump to instruct House Republicans not to block the Democrat’s proposal that would see to his request as condition to the signing of the new pandemic relief bill. That is if Trump is really sincere in his desire to give the American people economic relief check in an amount that is much higher than what Democrats have been pushing for all along.

While political leaders continue with their partisan politics, refusing to set aside their personal agenda, majority of the American people are struggling to provide the basic needs of their family: food, shelter and utilities. Even middle class Americans have run out of savings and not a few of the millions who lost their jobs have resorted to taking out personal loans short term only, just to have their past due obligations restructured.

Even if small business owners are able to obtain funds in order to keep their businesses afloat, they will still find it difficult to operate profitably if consumers don’t even have enough money to spend for their daily living expenses.