Congress needs to make changes to a program that provides aid to small businesses, because millions of dollars are being wasted on larger companies that have not been hurt by the coronavirus and are finding loopholes to obtain assistance, Sen. Rick Scott said on Monday, The Hill reported.
"Right now, companies that are not being harmed at all by the coronavirus crisis have the ability to receive taxpayer-funded loans that can be forgiven. That’s wrong, and it takes money out of the hands of those Americans who really need it," the Florida Republican said in a statement.
The Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is meant to provide loans and grants to companies with fewer than 500 employees, but BuzzFeedNews reported last week that the sandwich chain Potbelly and Ruth's Chris Steak House received loans of $10 million and $20 million, respectively.
The chains said they qualified to apply for funds, because the program allows them to do so as long they don't employ more than 500 workers at a single location. Over the weekend, Shake Shack announced it would return the loan.
Congress provided $349 billion for PPP funds, but those funds have run out amid high levels of demand. Congressional negotiators and Trump administration officials are trying to reach agreement on an interim bill that would provide $250 billion more in PPP funding and an additional $50- $60 billion for small banks.
Scott wants Congress to "clarify" that PPP assistance can only be used for businesses that can "show a substantial reduction in revenue due to the coronavirus."
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