New Details on Senate Small Business Relief Bill

March 18, 2020

Earlier today, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the Health Committee held a press conference where they outlined a forthcoming small-business stimulus bill. The legislation, The Restoring Economic Security, Confidence and User Endurance (RESCUE) Businesses Act of 2020, will be a $300 billion small business emergency economic relief plan that aims to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Click here to watch a video of the press conference.

NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken briefed Sens. Rubio and Collins, along with several other Senators on the state of small business in America today—see our recently released poll—and what small business needs in terms of a government stimulus package.

NSBA supports the efforts and leadership of Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) to ensure small-business stimulus is a part of any broader COVID package. Paramount to any relief package is speed and accessibility.

“Maintaining small-business cash-flow and liquidity is key to enabling successful small businesses to get to the other side of this crisis. Time is of the essence – small businesses need help NOW, and I believe that SBA is ready and fully equipped to get this critically important program off the ground quickly. But Congress must act soon,” stated McCracken.

NSBA is urging the Senate to quickly take up the RESCUE Business Act upon its formal introduction, and approve its creation of a COVID-specific lending program with far-reaching relief, specifically:

  • Provide approximately $300 Billion in loan subsidy at a 100 percent guarantee rate for economic impact loans;
  • Institute zero fees on borrowers and lenders through the program, and borrowers would make no payments for one full year; and
  • Provide payroll forgiveness for March 1 – June 30 on borrowers that don’t lay off any employees for all amounts used to meet payroll.

Although the bill is expected to be introduced in a matter of hours, text still is not available due to a few final sticking points which negotiators are working to iron out. When the bill language is available, NSBA will continue to provide updates and analysis.

During their press conference, Sens. Rubio and Collins both underscored the need to pass legislation soon and pointed to ongoing work with Democratic leadership including Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and House Committee on Small Business Chair Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.).

Lawmakers must look beyond just what happens the first two weeks, but what happens two and three months down the road: an employee may get paid leave off for two weeks, but have no job at all when things finally normalize. Most small businesses exist on very narrow margins and simply don’t have the scope necessary to float the business indefinitely. Any package enacted into law must recognize that reality and provide meaningful relief.

Please click here to access NSBA’s resource page on COVID-19 which includes a new poll, small-business profiles and much more.

**Story published at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday March 18. Stay tuned to for updates as the landscape continues to change by the hour.