WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) introduced the bipartisan Streamlining EIDL Act to improve the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) application process for small businesses and combat programmatic fraud. The legislation will require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide timely and helpful responses to small business applicants and submit a report to Congress how it is addressing fraud within the program.
Additional sponsors of the legislation include U.S. Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), and John Kennedy (R-La.).
“Small businesses in Idaho have struggled to get meaningful answers on their EIDL applications from the SBA,” said Senator Risch. “They’ve been forced to submit the same document multiple times, received vague and ambiguous responses from the agency, and in some cases, had to contend with fraudsters submitting false applications on their behalf. The Streamlining EIDL Act will go a long way to fix the flaws in the EIDL application process and make these disaster loans accessible to small businesses.”
“Economic Injury Disaster Loans have been a lifeline for small businesses throughout the pandemic,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “This bill will help businesses stay open and prevent fraud, a win-win.”
“The EIDL program has been a vital tool in providing aid to small businesses struggling with the economic impacts of the pandemic,” said Senator Marshall. “However, the SBA has failed to provide timely updates on the status of pending applications, leaving many Kansas small business owners in limbo about whether or not they’ll be able to meet their financial obligations. The Streamlining EIDL Act will improve SBA communications with constituents while also strengthening fraud prevention measures and improving the integrity of this program.”
“Small businesses applying for disaster relief shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get the answers they need,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Making it easier for small businesses to secure these critical loans and grants will help them keep their doors open and their workers employed. I’ll keep working with my colleagues to improve and streamline the EIDL Program and ensure Nevada’s small businesses are supported.”
“Louisiana’s small businesses contend with enough adversity as it is. They don’t need bureaucracy to make it harder to get straight answers on their EIDL applications or to combat fraud. I’m thankful to work with Sens. Risch and Hickenlooper to improve the EIDL program so that small businesses can get back to investing in their communities,” said Senator Kennedy.
Background: The Streamlining EIDL Act would impose commonsense deadlines on the EIDL program, require the SBA to conduct a comprehensive review of the process for submitting EIDL applications, direct the SBA to submit a report to Congress detailing steps it has taken to rectify its handling of identity theft cases, require the SBA to report how it has recovered improper payments, and require the SBA to report on how it is reconciling previous identity theft allegations with newly filed identity theft allegations.
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