Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor Champions Tampa Small Businesses, and Votes for PPP Lifeline, Transparency and Flexibility

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Washington, May 28, 2020 | comments

U.S. Rep. Castor championed new legislation designed to provide a more flexible lifeline to small businesses that are trying to survive and provide for their families and employees. H.R. 7010- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act of 2020 passed the House this afternoon. The Senate should be urged to take up and pass the House bill with alacrity in order to rush help to our small businesses in dire need.  The original PPP was included in the CARES Act to speed emergency resources to small businesses in Tampa Bay and across the nation to keep them afloat during the spreading COVID-19 pandemic and keep employees paid and connected to health care coverage.  

Provisions include:

  • Allowing forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period.
  • Eliminating restrictions limiting non-payroll expenses to 25% of loan proceeds.
  • Eliminating restrictions that limit loan terms to 2 years.
  • Ensuring full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans.
  • Providing a rehiring safe harbor for small businesses in case a they are unable to return to the same level of business activity as prior to the pandemic.

“Many Tampa Bay area small business owners urged me to work to provide greater flexibility in Paycheck Protection so they can survive. Together, we are going to weather this storm,” U.S. Rep. Castor said. “Our small businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry are especially in need of changes to the PPP to help them survive.  With additional flexibility, small businesses that have not secured PPP should investigate the loans because funds are still available particularly for very small and minority-owned businesses.”

“I also am concerned that Republican members of Congress blocked the bipartisan H.R. 6782 – the TRUTH Act. The TRUTH Act would have required greater transparency regarding who, where and how much has been expended through the PPP. Some businesses that did not need emergency aid have been shamed into returning taxpayer funds when made public. These are public funds and the public has a right to know who received taxpayer dollars,” U.S. Rep. Castor added.  The TRUTH Act failed 269-147 (on suspension) with all Democrats supporting greater transparency.”

Since early March, U.S. Rep. Castor has helped to speed emergency aid back home for the COVID-19 health emergency. This aid included relief for hospitals and small businesses, as well as direct cash assistance to individuals and families:

  • Coronavirus Preparedness & Response Supplemental Appropriations Act
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
  • Paycheck Protection Program & Health Care Enhancement Act
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