Columns

Blaine’s Bulletin: The Paycheck Protection Program is Working

Washington, July 10, 2020

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States and it became apparent that our country was about to face a seriously difficult economic time, Congress acted quickly to establish a safety net for American small businesses who were projected to take an enormous hit. Many Missourians were asked to work remotely, schools closed, and the news was telling us that in order to slow the spread of the virus, most of us needed to stay home. Seeing that this could be devastating for families and businesses in our state and across the country, Congress passed the CARES Act which, among other things, established the Paycheck Protection Program. 

In the months since its passage, we’ve seen the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) help tens of millions of Americans. Nationwide, this program is supporting more than 80% of small business employees and over 51 million jobs. And while the media has only focused on the miniscule number of loans that went to larger businesses, that money was returned and the average loan size for the program is $100,000, meaning the money is going to the small businesses who were meant to receive it. Here in Missouri, over $9.1 billion in loans has been given to our state’s businesses helping them keep their doors open and employees on payroll. Our favorite local businesses are once again open allowing us to do the things we may have taken for granted prior to coronavirus like getting a haircut, going to our neighborhood restaurant for dinner with our families or going for coffee with a friend.  

Missouri’s small businesses are the heart and soul of this state and a major source of jobs for Missourians. Thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program and the help of local lenders across Missouri who worked around the clock to help our businesses get these loans as quickly as possible, many of these business owners have been able to weather this economic interruption and are getting back on their feet and paychecks to their employees. And fortunately, the Paycheck Protection Program application deadline was just extended to allow even more businesses to get the help they need. Our nation’s economy is healing even faster than projected with job availability exceeding expectations allowing America to get back to work. While it will not happen overnight, Missourians are working together to get our economy back to where it was by supporting local businesses and each other in the process.