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Source : Roger Williams
October 25, 2021
Author : Alex Bustillos
Republicans on the House Small Business Committee have been sending letters to the SBA seeking answers on behalf of the small business committee.
Last week, House Committee on Small Business Republican Leader Blaine Luetkemeyer and House Committee on Financial Services Republican Leader Patrick McHenry sent a letter to SBA administrator Isabel Guzman decrying the department’s lack of response to “the nation’s smallest businesses, their lenders, and Congressional offices.”
“During the pandemic, small businesses across the country turned to the SBA and their programs for relief to keep their doors open and workers employed. Unfortunately, business owners have been met with uncertainty stemming from delayed approvals, lack of communication, and nonexistent transparency,” the representatives lamented.
“While the list of complaints is long, numerous small businesses have struggled to obtain information regarding their Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL),” they added. “Unanswered questions and disbursement delays have left the nation’s job creators with limited options.”
Hammering not just the problem-plagued EIDL program, Luetkemeyer and McHenry also slammed the problems faced by lenders under the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP. “Communication from your office to lenders remains disorganized,” they wrote. “It is critical that the SBA improve its management of the programs and provide timely and detailed updates to program participants.”
They went on to claim that the SBA is giving inadequate responses to both members of congress and state delegations that have sought answers on SBA policy, calling it “unacceptable” for “questions to go unanswered or to receive generic responses with haphazard or limited information.”
They complained that they are aware of constituents who were denied EIDL grants because they had provided “unverifiable information.” But the SBA never told them which information they were referring to, leading to confusion for any small business owner working to remedy the issue. “Our constituents face repeatedly submitting the same documents or information depending on which SBA employee they speak to on a given day,” they added.
“We urge you to take immediate action to review outstanding inquiries from all Members of Congress and increase communication with their offices, small businesses, and the lenders that assist them. Anything less from the agency charged with aiding America’s small businesses is unacceptable,” they concluded.
Later on in the week, 13 Republican committee members raised even more issues with the SBA over Associate Administrator Mark Madrid’s lack of response to questions asked of him as he testified before their committee on October 6. Vice Ranking member Roger Williams called out the “incompetency” of the agency.
“We are deeply concerned that Mr. Madrid was unprepared to answer even our simplest questions about the effects that raising taxes would have on small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups across the country,” they wrote. “This unwillingness to engage with our committee members about rudimentary tax policy is extremely troubling because it makes us believe that your agency is out of touch with the top issues facing Main Street American businesses.”
Signatories on the letter included Representatives Roger Williams, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Dan Meuser, Andrew R. Garbarino, Maria Salazar, Jim Hagedorn, Scott Fitzgerald, Pete Stauber, Claudia Tenney, Young Kim, Beth Van Duyne and Byron Donalds.