Announcement from the office of Rep. Marilyn Strickland.
Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) has sent a bipartisan letter demanding accountability from the Small Business Administration for its handling of Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications. She was joined by 70 of her colleagues, including three Republicans.
“For months I have heard directly from small business owners in South Sound about the myriad of problems they have had getting their economic disaster loan applications processed.” said Strickland. “The Small Business Administration (SBA) has failed to provide adequate service or communications to these struggling business owners across the country. Small businesses need answers from the SBA and I will fight to my constituents until we get them.
“The Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL) program was set up to provide a lifeline to struggling businesses during the pandemic,” said MP Hayes who co-edited the letter. “Yet so many people were left with disappointing news that funds had been depleted without warning. Transparency is key for companies still waiting for answers from the Small Business Administration.
Currently, the Small Business Administration is not accepting new COVID-19 EIDL applicants. Small business owners have faced problems with applications denied without explanation or the ability to appeal and waited months without communication only to be notified that funds had run out. Additionally, those who were approved were not told that approval was not the last step in the application process, but rather that funds had to be committed by the SBA deadline, thereby losing funding. .
The full text of the letter can be found below and here.
Dear Administrator Guzman,
We are writing to express our concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding the termination of the Economic Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). Congress has allocated more than $1 trillion in critical support for the hardest-hit small businesses, including funds for the Economic Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). While EIDL has helped more than 3.9 million small businesses across the country, many have been excluded from assistance in the first round or left in the dark about the status of their Small Business applications. Administration (SBA). We urge you to work with these EIDL candidate small businesses to provide immediate relief. They deserve clarity.
Thousands of small businesses are still feeling the effects of the pandemic, and some have had to shut down all together. Not only have many of these businesses lost two years of revenue, but it will also take years for them to recover financially from the debt they have accumulated to stay afloat during this time. Since the SBA stopped accepting applications for new COVID EIDL loans on January 1, 2022 and stopped accepting requests for loan increases and requests for reconsideration of previously denied loan applications on May 5, 2022, our offices received many phone calls and emails from disappointed small businesses. owners of our neighborhoods who found themselves without recourse or help.
What we find most concerning is that the SBA attributes its latest decision to the depletion of funds, but did not communicate this to our constituents well in advance and even provided inconsistent information to those who had pending requests throughout the process – despite their due diligence to give SBA what they were asked for in a timely manner. Specifically, we heard from constituents with pending applications who were told by the SBA that they would be or had been approved, and that the delay would not be an issue, or whose applications went unanswered for months. and all were then refused after the funds were exhausted. These voters were not told by the SBA that approval was not the last step in the application process, but that funds had to be committed by the deadline. We also heard from some voters who were never given the opportunity to make adjustments to their original application or were turned down outright with little or no explanation, but were asked to appeal the decision before the May 6, 2022, before being declined again due to funding issues.
The lack of transparency and accountability in how the SBA has chosen to adjudicate and process claims is alarming, as is the repeated pattern of miscommunication our constituents have experienced. We urge you to clarify how the SBA has handled requests and intends to address these deficiencies in the future. We look forward to your response to these questions.
This letter was signed by Representatives Marilyn Strickland, Jahana Hayes, Alma Adams, Colin Allred, Jake Auchincloss, Don Bacon, Karen Bass, Sanford Bishop, Suzanne Bonamici, Salud Carbajal, Troy Carter, Ed Case, David Cicilline, Yvette Clarke, J. Correa, Jim Costa, Angie Craig, Charlie Crist, Madeleine Dean, Suzan DelBene, Anna Eshoo, Adriano Espaillat, Brian Fitzpatrick, Jesús García, Sylvia Garcia, Josh Gottheimer, Raúl Grijalva, Jamie Herrera Beutler, Pramila Jayapal, Henry Johnson, Ro Khanna, Daniel Kildee, Derek Kilmer, Ron Kind, Ann Kirkpatrick, Ann Kuster, James Langevin, Al Lawson, Barbara Lee, Susie Lee, Mike Levin, Alan Lowenthal, Elaine Luria, Carolyn Maloney, Doris Matsui, James McGovern, Gregory Meeks , Joe Neguse, Eleanor Norton, Tom O’Halleran, Ilhan Omar, Frank Pallone, Donald Payne Jr., Stacey Plaskett, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Jamie Raskin, Deborah Ross, Linda Sánchez, Adam Schiff, Kim Schrier, David Scott, Elissa Slotkin, Adam Smith, Greg Stanton, Thomas S. uozzi, Eric Swalwell, Mark Takano, Dina Titus, Rashida Tlaib, David Trone and Jennifer Wexton.
U.S. Representative Marilyn Strickland serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and is the only African-American woman to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. She is a member of the New Democrat Coalition, is one of the first Korean-American women elected to Congress, and the first African-American elected to represent the Pacific Northwest at the federal level.