Delgado Secures $26.5 Billion in Disaster Aid for Small Businesses and Family Farms in Third Coronavirus Package
WASHINGTON, DC—This week, House and Senate leadership announced a bipartisan $2 trillion stimulus package that includes needed support for working families across the country. This legislation also includes two Delgado-led provisions to support small businesses and family farmers. Last week, Rep. Delgado introduced the Small Business Repayment Relief Act to provide federal funding for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover six months of loan repayments for all qualified loans. Additionally, he led 37 Members in urging disaster assistance funding for producers impacted by disruptions to regional food systems like farmers markets. The text released yesterday includes both of Delgado’s priorities, and passed the Senate unanimously. The House is expected to take up this legislation tomorrow.
“Small businesses and family farms are the backbone of our upstate economy, and both are feeling the extreme economic toll brought about by this coronavirus pandemic. I have heard from countless small businesses and self-employed owners facing loan repayments, payroll and other business expenses despite having cease operations. Our family farms have endured years of economic strain and now face workforce challenges and disruptions to local food systems – markets, schools, and restaurants,” said Delgado. “I am glad House and Senate leadership heeded my call to include my critically important proposals in this relief legislation – so our small business owners can feel instant relief from their loan payments, and our farmers can access disaster assistance payments to stay afloat. This is just the beginning, we have much more work to do to make our small businesses, self-employed owners and family farmers whole throughout this worldwide public health emergency. I will continue to highlight the needs of our small businesses and farmers and use my conversations with folks in the district to inform future legislation and get people relief.”
Last week, Rep. Delgado introduced legislation that would ensure that every small business with a qualified SBA loan automatically be relieved of their loan payments—including principal, interest, and fees—for the next six months. The Small Business Repayment Relief Act would provide nearly $17 billion in federal funding for SBA to cover six months of loan payments for all qualified loans without any action from small businesses. This assistance would be a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of American small businesses fighting for their survival over the coming months, including the 27,000 small businesses and self-employed owners in New York’s 19th Congressional District.
In addition, Rep. Delgado led a letter to Congressional Leadership with 37 Members urging that any future COVID-19 relief package include special disaster assistance measures for small and midsize farmers who are already experiencing severe market disruptions. Smaller farms, which make up 96% of the nearly 5,000 farms in NY-19, in the midst of an already challenging farm economy must now face labor shortages and the upending of local and regional food systems amid the COVID-19 pandemic.