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Apr 26, 2021 | Editorials, Small Business

Originally published in the Orange County Register on April 24, 2021

Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities across California’s 39th District. Unfortunately, our state’s small business owners were hit the hardest in the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic with 40,000 small businesses closing their doors and nearly half of those closures are permanent.

As a small business owner, I understand the hardships and challenges that come with starting a small business. While we often see startling statistics about business closures, we also cannot forget the human impact. Businesses closing doors comes with employee layoffs and individuals unable to pay their bills, put food on the table or provide for their loved ones.

That is why I am proud to serve on the House Small Business Committee and am committed to supporting our small business owners, including providing relief as we safely reopen our communities in addition to creating policies that promote workforce development and economic growth for years to come.

I am also excited that four months into my first term in Congress, three bipartisan bills I helped introduce to support small businesses have passed the House of Representatives, and one has become law.

The bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Extension Act I co-authored with Small Business Committee Chair Nydia Velazquez, D-New York, Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Missouri, and Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Georgia, was signed into law by President Biden to give small business owners more time to apply for a PPP loan. In February, the Biden Administration announced five changes to the program before the original March 31 deadline. This bill simply extended the deadline to apply for a PPP loan to May 31 and gave the Small Business Administration (SBA) 30 more days to review loans, so small business owners have more time to adjust to these changes and receive targeted relief they need to keep their doors open.

From Fullerton to Rowland Heights, Yorba Linda to Chino Hills, I have talked to small business owners of all backgrounds who faced unprecedented challenges such as temporary closures, staff layoffs, rising expenses and drastic cuts in revenue.

The Paycheck Protection Program, which Congress created in 2020 through the bipartisan CARES Act, proved quickly to be a lifeline for many small business owners to keep their doors open and employees on payroll through the lockdowns.

As of the week of April 19, SBA has $50 billion PPP funds left unspent. This bill gives small businesses throughout Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties that are still in desperate need of help the time they need to receive relief to keep their doors open and create jobs as we open our communities.

I also co-authored two bipartisan bills, H.R. 1490 and H.R. 1482, to improve the SBA’s 504 loan program, which both passed the House and broadens small manufacturers access to capital, helps create jobs and grow our economy. California’s 39th district is home to many small manufacturers that produce everything from the clothes we wear to the technology powering our lives, and both these bills will help them succeed.

I came to Congress to get through the gridlock and find commonsense solutions, and I am excited to hit the ground running to keep my promise and deliver results for California’s 39th District. Our small businesses are the key to unlocking our economic recovery across local communities, and I look forward to continuing to do my part to create policies that allow them to thrive.

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