Lawmakers look to add more money to emergency fund as small businesses report issues accessing loans


WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Small business owners nationwide have reported issues accessing emergency loans just to stay afloat. 

Now Congress is considering hundreds of billions more as the White House tries to improve delays. 

Many business owners say they have been unable to access the coronavirus emergency loans they’ve been promised.

“Many of these very small businesses will not be able to survive,” Representative Norma Torres, D-California, said. 

Congresswoman Norma Torres blames computer glitches, confusion, and delays  in the program designed to loan small business money to keep their employees on the payroll.

“Members of Congress are participating in telephone town halls to say, ‘this is how you access the money. Let us help you,’” Torres said. 

But even with help, Congresswoman Jackie Speier says every day that passes without the money is one step closer to economic ruin.

“I’ve got so many small businesses now that are on the brink of shutting down completely,” Representative Jackie Speier, D-California, said. 

Speier says the demand for small business loans nationwide has far exceeded what Congress and Treasury anticipated. 

“We probably needed to double or triple the amount of money we put into that fund,” Speier said.

Now because of that excess demand, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has requested 250-billion additional dollars from Congress to help small businesses.

“They’re working around the clock to make sure those funds are accessible now,” Monica Crowley, spokesperson for the Treasury Department, said. 

Treasury Department spokesperson Monica Crowley says the administration is working as quickly as it can with lenders and banks to fix the glitches in the loan program. 

“I know that the folks in the administration are working with the lenders of all sizes to make sure those issues are resolved,” Crowley said.

Crowley says the administration remains hopeful most businesses will get the help they need to survive the downturn. 

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