DECEMBER ADVOCACY UPDATE
- On Thursday, the House voted to pass a short-term spending bill, a.k.a. continuing resolution a.k.a. CR. Then, late last night, Senate Majority Leader Schumer announced they'd reached an agreement to keep the government open. Democrats decided that the heat Biden would take from a government shutdown would be worse than stomaching a vote on an amendment to defund Biden’s vaccine mandate for large employers. Since the government funding bill passed, people are more optimistic about the next hurdle, the debt ceiling limit, which expires on December 15th.
- The National Deference Authorization Act (NDAA) still hangs in the balance. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-R.I.) tried to set up votes on 24 amendments starting Thursday morning. Then, the bill would have been on a path to vote on passing the defense bill as part of the agreement worked out by leadership. However, Senator Rubio wanted a vote on his amendment that would ban imports from China’s Xinjiang region, but this measure would kill the bill in the House. So… it’s now back in limbo.
- Democratic lawmakers believe it is ideal to resolve the CR, debt ceiling, NDAA, and Build Back Better Plan (BBB) before Christmas recess. The timeline Congress has to work with will not allow enough time to resolve each item before the New Year. The chances are that the BBB pushes into the new year.
- The Build Back Better Plan passed the House, but what will happen to it in the U.S. Senate is unknown. Here is how the bill could change over the coming weeks:
- Medicare: while Senate progressives try to wiggle vision back into the BBB, Senate moderates and Republicans need to come to an agreement on drug pricing, which must pass through the Senate parliamentarian.
- Leave: The House version includes four weeks of paid family and medical leave. However, this figure is expected to shrink as it gains the approval or disapproval of key moderates, such as Sen. Manchin.
- State and Local Tax (SALT) cap: The House and Senate are currently in disagreement on the specifics of SALT, including the capped amount and when it might revert to its original levels, leaving room for changes in the final provision.
- Immigration: While the Senate awaits parliamentarian guidance on the House's immigration language, the Senate will attempt to rework immigration provisions back into the bill.
- Climate: Sen. Manchin is likely to weigh in here as the Senate debates climate-friendly provisions, including the carbon tax and incentives for clean energy transitions.
Biden Administration Updates:
- This week, the Biden Administration released a fact sheet on ways they will be increasing their spending toward underserved small business owners. Click here to see NAWBO’s Press Release.
- During the Thanksgiving holiday week, the Administration released its fact sheet on how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will Revitalize Main Street, including:
§ Reducing small business shipping delays by upgrading our nation’s transportation infrastructure.
§ Help small businesses hire new employees and reach new customers by providing universal broadband.
§ Expand access to tens of billions of dollars’ worth of federal, state, and local government contracts, including more than $37 billion through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
§ Foster the development of Main Street small businesses in underserved communities by empowering the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).
- Critical Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Information: Specifically, the following updated guidance is being provided:
§ EIDL loan and Targeted Advance applications will be accepted until December 31 and will continue to be processed after this date until funds are exhausted.
§ Supplemental Targeted Advance applications will be accepted until December 31; however, the SBA may not process some Supplemental Targeted Advance applications submitted near the December 31 deadline due to legal requirements. The SBA cannot continue to process Supplemental Targeted Advance applications after December 31 and strongly encourages eligible small businesses to apply by December 10 to ensure adequate processing time.
§ Borrowers can request increases up to their maximum eligible loan amount for up to two years after their loan origination date or until the funds are exhausted, whichever is soonest.
§ The SBA will accept and review reconsideration and appeal requests for COVID EIDL applications received on or before December 31 if the reconsideration/appeal is received within the timeframes in the regulation. This means six months from the date of decline for reconsiderations and 30 days from the date of reconsideration decline for appeals – unless funding is no longer available.
- What’s New with Small Business? Check out SBA’s Office of Advocacy’s business research.
- The Administration touts a record number of its traditional loans to our nation's small businesses while also scaling up to meet the immense demand for COVID-related economic relief.
- This year, SBA has overseen the distribution of nearly $416.3 billion in emergency relief aid to more than 6 million impacted small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program ($280 billion), Restaurant Revitalization Fund ($28.6 billion), Shuttered Venue Operators Grant ($13.4 billion), COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program ($88 billion), and COVID EIDL Targeted and Supplemental Advance programs ($6.3 billion combined).
- Highlights of the significant ARP resources going to the hardest hit, underserved small businesses:
- The Restaurant Revitalization Fund has supported more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage businesses. Of the $28.6 billion allocated, $18 billion in critical relief aid has been distributed to women-owned ($7.5 billion), veteran-owned ($1 billion), and socially and economically disadvantaged-owned ($6.7 billion) small businesses.
- The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant has awarded grants to nearly 13,000 live venues, theaters, and other entertainment and cultural hubs. Since the inception of the SVOG program, more than 90% of the grants have supported venues with fewer than 50 employees - or the smallest of small businesses - a key priority of this Administration.
- The retooled COVID EIDL Targeted and Supplemental Advance programs have provided almost 500,000 small businesses, approximately $6.3 billion in financial relief, focused on supporting those from low-income communities who were especially hard-hit and are still reeling from the pandemic.
- And the Community Navigators Pilot Program has awarded nearly $100 million in funding to 51 organizations that will work with hundreds of local groups to connect small business owners to government resources and help level the playing field for America's entrepreneurs. The two-year grants were designated in three tiers at $1 million, $2.5 million, and $5 million.
Want to hear more about NAWBO Advocacy efforts or get involved? Contact Elle Patout via email at email@example.com.