Matsui Demands Transparency in SBA PPP Loan Information

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Washington, May 5, 2020 | George Hatamiya (916-201-5412) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) sent a letter to Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza, urging the SBA to increase transparency of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

As part of the federal government effort to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the PPP provides cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally-guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during the public health emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven, which will help workers remain employed, and help affected small businesses recover quicker after the crisis.

Through the CARES Act and the subsequent Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, Congress has allotted $659 billion to the PPP. However, while these funds are being distributed to small businesses, there has not been adequate specificity about which companies have received loans. Congresswoman Matsui is calling on the SBA to provide these details to make sure that loans are provided to small businesses who need it most and not large corporations.

Full text of the letter is below:

Dear Administrator Carranza,

I write today to urge you to take immediate steps to increase transparency at the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by providing information on recipients and the amounts of PPP loans in the Sacramento region. Congress has provided $659 billion to the PPP and oversight is needed to ensure these taxpayer dollars are used responsibly.

The Small Business Administration’s PPP loans are designed to help small businesses stay open and retain workers during the spread of COVID-19. For small businesses struggling to maintain operations, these loans can make the difference between lay-offs and closures or continued operations. Given the crucial role PPP loans can play in communities like Sacramento, I am deeply concerned that the SBA is not providing detailed information about the companies that are receiving these loans.

While the SBA has provided initial PPP loan guarantee breakdowns, these general reports lack the needed specificity to adequately evaluate the program’s effectiveness in the Sacramento region. While the career employees at the SBA have been working diligently to distribute loans, complications and delays have hindered the program’s effectiveness. Additionally, significant loans have been provided to large, publicly traded corporations, depriving small businesses without alternative sources of financing a chance to receive needed support. These consequential missteps have reinforced the need for public information about loan distributions. To help inform future legislation, and to evaluate the program’s impact in my district, I am asking for written answers to the following requests:

  • To date, how many PPP applications have been received from businesses in California’s 6th Congressional District?
  • To date, how many PPP applications from businesses in California’s 6th Congressional District have resulted in a loan being issued?
  • Please provide a comprehensive list that includes all loans, and their amounts, distributed to businesses in California’s 6th Congressional District.

For any federal program, but especially one with such far-reaching implications, transparency and thorough oversight are needed to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used effectively. I urge you to immediately make detailed information about loan amounts and recipients publicly available.

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