Ben Cline Call with Focus on Small Businesses
On April 20th, Congressman Ben Cline hosted an hour-long telephone town hall meeting focusing on small business owners.
Here is what Congressman Cline said.
“It’s Ben Cline and I want to thank all of you for taking the time to join me for my second Coronavirus telephone Town Hall. Today we’re going to be focusing on small business issues and how the federal government’s making resources available to help businesses through this uncertain time. And while I know these are difficult times, please know that the federal government has made numerous resources available to help small businesses through this crisis. Most recently, Congress passed the CARES Act which provided over $2 trillion in aid to individuals, small businesses, and hospitals. The legislation created the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP, which has served as a lifeline to thousands of small businesses here in the sixth district. Here in Virginia as of April 16th, more than 40,000 PPP loans have been processed totaling nearly $8.7 billion. Aside from the Paycheck Protection Program, businesses may have found relief through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance or the Employee Retention Tax Credit. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance or EIDL provides up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties. And the employee retention tax credit is a fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50% of qualified wages, including allocable qualified health plan expenses that eligible employers pay their employees and a more detailed description of all of these programs can be found by visiting sba.gov. Unfortunately, however, the demand for these programs has exceeded the funding and the SBA is no longer accepting new loan applications. For the PPP and EIDL as of last Friday, we need to increase funding for these programs immediately.”
Next, Cline introduced Carl Knoblock, who has been Virginia’s director of the United States Small Business Administration since 2014. Here’s a quote from Knoblock,
“One thing I want to say thank you to Congress and also the small businesses. We’re facing very challenging times through this, how they’ve been very professional on the phone when they communicate with us, as we try to assist them. I know that it’s very frustrating and sometimes you feel like you’re alone but I can tell you honestly, in our office, we really feel for you and we’re trying to do everything we can to help.”
If you have any questions or need more information, Cline said this,
“I want to make sure folks with questions get those answered. My district offices are in Harrisonburg, Staunton, Roanoke, and Lynchburg. They’re open, they’re continuing to serve the people of the sixth district during this crisis. Please don’t hesitate to call any of the offices with questions. If you need help navigating the Federal Bureaucracy as you work to secure these resources for your businesses, you can go to cline.house.gov and that’s where you can get all the phone numbers for all the offices. We’re here to help.”
For AMR News, I’m Abby Dufour