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Mississippi leaders weigh in on...

Mississippi leaders weigh in on depleted Paycheck Protection Program

By: Sarah Ulmer - April 17, 2020

Members of the Mississippi Congressional Delegation and other leaders in the state have offered their thoughts on the potential for more funding in the Paycheck Protection Program that the SBA and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) says is exhausted.

As of Tuesday, there had been 14,209 small business loans applied for in Mississippi. These totaled $1,921,783,598 in approved loans.

In the legislation passed by Congress $369 billion was appropriated initially for the program.  By Friday April 17th, 20,748 loans with the SBA had been approved at $2.5 million in Mississippi, totaling $247.5 billion across the nations.

According to the SBA there are 250,000 registered small businesses in Mississippi, a far cry from the just over 14,000 that have been approved for loans.

Republicans are looking to add another $251 billion into the program without making any changes to the bill.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith says Democrats must stop blocking new funding for the PPP.

Congressman Michael Guest said in a tweet that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “are putting the future of thousands of small businesses at risk by obstructing PPP funds.”

Congressman Steven Palazzo running out of money in the PPP did not have to happen, adding, “Democrats needlessly snubbed America’s small businesses by choosing to block additional funding for the PPP.”

Democrats have offered a proposal of $500 billion.  This would include $60 billion for lenders serving small businesses, $150 billion for individual states, $100 billion for hospitals and another 15 percent for food stamps.

Congressman Bennie Thompson says Democrats are fighting for small businesses but the PPP must include fixes.

“I will support more funding when it includes assurances that small and minority businesses won’t have to compete against big businesses for help,” Congressman Thompson said in a statement sent to Y’all Politics on Thursday.

NFIB State Director Dawn Starns said, “Small businesses account for 99.3% of all employers in Mississippi, but only a tiny fraction of them have received this funding. Without it, they won’t be able to pay their employees, and some might not be able to reopen. Mississippi cannot afford for that to happen.”

The NFIB penned letters to congressional leaders, urging them to immediately provide further appropriations to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and to the Small Business Administration, strongly encouraging them to address significant funding and communication issues related to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

Governor Tate Reeves backed more funding for the PPP in his Wednesday press conference, saying Speaker Pelosi and Congressional Democrats should do their jobs.

Democrat Senate candidate Mike Espy retweeted a Washington Post article on the rising unemployment in the nation, saying, “Our state deserves better leadership in Washington, especially during a crisis like this.”  However, he has not taken a position publically or provided a statement on if he supports additional funding for the PPP to aid small businesses.



About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state.
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