Action Alert: Tell the Trump Administration and Congress to add more funding to and simplify the eligibility requirements for the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs so construction firms and their employees can get needed coronavirus relief as soon as possible.
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The chaotic stream of guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on the new employer-fronted paid leave mandates and from the U.S. Small Business Administration on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans—both of which have different rules for getting to the same conclusion of how many employees a construction firm has—has immensely confused the 682,000 construction firms that have fewer than 500 employees.
The result has been many construction firms being unfairly disadvantaged and delayed in applying for loans. To help remedy this confusion, Congress must:
- Allow all businesses required to provide employer-fronted paid leave to be automatically eligible for PPP loans to mitigate confusion and meet the intent of the new loan program, which is to help ensure employees are paid, not laid off; and
- Waive the SBA affiliation regulations for all industries seeking PPP loans, as these regulations are incomprehensible to the vast majority of construction businesses, especially at a time when their financial viability is hanging in the balance.
AGC appreciates the efforts of the Administration and Congress to take swift action to act on public health and economic needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, while the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides construction employers with critically needed access to capital, expedited cash-flow, and critical tax relief, among other things, these technical corrections must be made to mitigate confusion and additional funds added to the new loan program to ensure construction firms have fair access to capital.
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