President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, listen as U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza takes questions from the press during a coronavirus update briefing Thursday, April 2, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Carranza: ‘Most Important Objective’ for SBA Is to Help Small Businesses Retain Staff During COVID-19

Small Business Administration leader Jovita Carranza said that the SBA is “working hard to get money… quickly” to small businesses in need due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is an unprecedented effort by this administration to support small businesses, and we know that there will be challenges in the process,” Carranza said Thursday at a news conference of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. “Secretary Mnuchin and I are working in tandem to ensure that feedback from our partners is being heard and implemented. The private and public sector must work closely together to ensure that small businesses and their workers across the country are put first. This administration believes wholeheartedly that if you are a small business, you are a critical part of the economic fabric of this and your viability is critical to the economic well-being of your employees.”

“At SBA, we are working around the clock to support small businesses ensuring that we are prioritizing emergency capital for small businesses that are suffering economic harm as a result of this unprecedented situation,” she continued. “This relief will help stabilize the small business sector by providing businesses with the financial resources they need to keep their workers employed and keep up with their day to day operating expenses.”

Carranza said she wants to “ensure that small businesses all over the country know about the paycheck protection program and how they can benefit from this.”

“Simply put, the paycheck protection program is to help keep employees on payroll and small businesses open. SBA will forgive the portion of the loan that is used for job retention and certain other expenses. We are working closely with lenders so that businesses can go directly to their local lenders,” she said. “Paycheck protection program is in addition to substantial work that the SBA has and will continue to do to help small businesses, including providing advances on SBA disaster loans and forgiving existing SBA loan payments over the next six months. Additional details on these critically important programs can be found at SBA.gov, and we will be updating these resources regularly.”

“Our hearts go out to those affected by this terrible virus. Our community around the countries are stepping up, and we will get through this together. At SBA, we know that every phone call, email, or application submitted has a small business owner, their employees, and the communities they support are on the other side. Our most important objective is to allow small businesses to keep their employees on board and keep their businesses viable through this unprecedented disruption.”

Carranza stressed “the importance of patience in this process as we work together to ensure that businesses are able to access needed credit.”

“We will continue working around the clock as we have done with our federal and community sector partners expanding capacity and working to make our systems as robust as possible to meet the needs,” she said.

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