President Donald Trump signed the $484 billion relief package into law Friday providing emergency aid primarily at small businesses and hospitals that have been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than $320 billion will go towards replenishing and strengthening the Payroll Protection Program which recently ran out of funding before reaching businesses that lacked strong ties to large banks and lending institutions.
“When small local businesses struggled to apply for PPP while major corporations sucked those funds dry, Republicans only wanted to throw more money at the program without addressing its inequities,” Congressman Gregory Meeks said. “I am very proud to have fought together as a caucus with my Democratic colleagues to make PPP stronger and firer for businesses desperately in need of relief. Our negotiations have set aside appropriations for community development financial institutions and minority depository institutions so truly small businesses that haven’t had traditional existing banking relationships have a fair shot at relief.”
Meeks added that while the latest relief package is a step in the right direction there is still more work to do.
“This is far from mission accomplished,” Meeks said. “We still need to do much more to address the needs of businesses and families and provide financial assistance to states and localities. New York has borne a particularly heavy cost from the coronavirus and the city and state desperately need and deserve federal aid. The Republican Senate must step up and fund state and local government aid.”
Meeks, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, sent a letter to financial institutions encouraging them to partner with MDIs and CDFIs to disburse small business loans under the PPP.
“Given your comparative advantage in building scalable technology and the strengths of MDIs and CDFIs at reaching underserved communities and working with existing financial regulators, I believe partnerships between fintechs and MDI/CDFIs could be beneficial for both parties, and help expand the reach of financial services and government stimulus programs to those communities most affected by the crisis., and in greatest need of financial support.”