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Strengthening PPP options for small businesses is a bipartisan effort

Congresswoman Aumua Amata.
Giving more flexibility to small businesses for use of PPP help
Sources: Media release from Cong. Aumua Amata's office

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Amata is the lead cosponsor of a bipartisan bill to give more flexibility to small businesses so they can use the PPP assistance to supply personal protective equipment to their employees, or otherwise use the money with more discretion to pay their most essential bills.

The Protecting Paychecks and Employees (PPE) Act, was introduced Friday by Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa-01), with Amata as the lead co-sponsor in response to concerns expressed by small businesses.

The bill strengthens the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in two ways: It would allow small businesses to use funds from PPP loans to cover personal protective equipment, known as PPE, for their employees; and it would eliminate the restriction that small businesses use 75 percent of loan proceeds on payroll, allowing greater flexibility to address the many business expenses necessary to sustain operations.

These provisions help ensure that workers have proper protections as they work, and that businesses stay afloat to meet expenses and keep employees on payroll.

“Our small businesses are battling for their existence, facing costly new Personal Protective Equipment purchases, and operating in a restricted economy through no fault of their own,” said Congresswoman Aumua Amata.“This assistance should certainly apply to PPE, and Congress should act quickly to strengthen the Paycheck Protection Program.”

"As more communities and businesses begin opening up, we must remain vigilant against the ongoing threat of COVID-19,” Congresswoman Finkenauer said. “Our new normal will continue to require personal protective equipment and additional safeguards for workers. My common-sense bill will help our small businesses provide that equipment for folks as they work and give them the flexibility needed to stay in businesses and continue providing paychecks.”

Congresswoman Amata is Vice Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee, and Congresswoman Finkenauer also serves on the Small Business Committee, and as chairwoman of the House Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship (RATE) subcommittee.