WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) announced his introduction of the Ensuring Increased Disaster Loans (EIDL) for Small Businesses Act (S.4227). This bipartisan legislation would assist Texas small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by providing an additional $180 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. The bill would also prohibit the Small Business Administration (SBA) from arbitrarily capping EIDL loans below $2 million – the threshold set by Congress – and require SBA to provide $10,000 EIDL Advance grants to all eligible small businesses, regardless of size, as intended by the original CARES Act.
“As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on our economy, Texas’ small businesses are bearing a tremendous financial burden,” said Senator Cornyn. “The EIDL program has helped many businesses keep their doors open during the pandemic, and this legislation would help make sure they are able to receive the full assistance they need to stay afloat and help get our economy back on track.”
Soon after the CARES Act became law, the U.S. Small Business Administration placed arbitrary caps on EIDL loans and EIDL Advance grants. Currently, EIDL loans – low-interest loans that can be used to cover small business operating expenses – have been capped at $150,000 per business, instead of the congressionally mandated maximum of $2 million. Additionally, the SBA placed caps on EIDL Advance grants to small businesses of $1,000 per-employee (up to $10,000), rather than the congressionally mandated $10,000 for every eligible small business.
As of last week, the EIDL Advance grant program has run out of funding and small businesses are no longer receiving this relief.
In April, Senator Cornyn co-led a letter along with Senator Rosen urging the SBA to eliminate its self-imposed caps on EIDL loans and EIDL Advance grants.
The bipartisan Ensuring Increased Disaster Loans (EIDL) for Small Businesses Act (S.4227) would:
- Provide $100 billion in appropriations for EIDL;
- Provide $80 billion in appropriations for EIDL Advance;
- Prohibit the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator from placing maximum caps below $2 million on Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which have a maximum loan amount of $2 million, as established by the CARES Act. Under the bill, all eligible small businesses shall receive EIDL funding in the amount calculated using SBA’s current EIDL formula, up to $2 million;
- Prohibit the SBA Administrator from placing limitations on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance. Under the bill, all eligible small business shall receive the full $10,000 grant provided by the CARES Act, regardless of size;
- Require EIDL Advance grants to be disbursed to eligible small businesses within three business days of request and not be contingent upon approval for a Economic Injury Disaster Loan; and
- Require SBA to submit a monthly report to the House and Senate Committees on Small Business and Appropriations on 1) the status of the Disaster Loan Account, including obligations, allocations, and amounts undistributed/unallocated; 2) allocations, obligations, and expenditures for all open disasters; and 3) an estimate of when available appropriations will be exhausted.