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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) Hosts Roundtable Discussion with Black Small Business Owners

August 31, 2020
Press Release
Southfield, MI — Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) joined by Representatives Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Andy Levin (MI-09) hosted a virtual roundtable discussion with Black small business owners to discuss the challenges they’re facing during COVID-19. August marks the 14th Annual National Black Business Month, an observance that highlights the importance of Black businesses to our communities and to our national economy. 
“During National Black Business Month, we uplift our Black business community and celebrate the important contributions from Black-owned businesses. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Black-owned businesses at an extremely disproportionate rate. According to the latest findings, 40% of Black-owned businesses across the country shut down between February and April, leading many to remain closed. We must do better to protect Black-owned businesses and ensure they are able to access the resources needed to survive and thrive during this pandemic,” said Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence.
“And that means we need to make sure Black-owned businesses get quick access to capital, invest in the programs that we know work, and work to give Black entrepreneurs an equal opportunity to compete – something that has been denied for far too long. Many of our black-owned businesses are first-generation owned, and it is our duty to collectively find a way to make these businesses become second, third, and fourth-generation businesses.”
Small business-related legislation championed by Congresswoman Lawrence
Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), joined by Congressmen Troy Balderson (OH-12), Mike Quigley (IL-05), and John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13) introduced H.R. 7216, the bipartisan Small Business PPE Tax Credit Act, legislation that would provide a tax credit, up to $25,000, for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), for small businesses, 501(c)(3) non-profits, veterans’ organizations, independent contractors, farmers, sole proprietors, and many more, in any taxable year in which the President of the United States, in respect to COVID-19, declares a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act or under Section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
Congress has taken the following actions to address small business concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • March 27, 2020: Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established the Paycheck Protection Program and provided $349 billion to fund the program. An additional $10 billion were also provided for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants.
  • April 24, 2020: Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act which provided an additional $310 billion in PPP loans, and $100 billion for hospitals and coronavirus testing.
  • June 5, 2020: The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act established a minimum maturity of five years for PPP loans; extended the forgiveness period of PPP loans from 8 weeks to 24 weeks; extended the program from June 30 to December 31, 2020; extended the loan terms from 2 years to 5 years; Increased the current limitation on the use of loan proceeds for non-payroll expenses.
  • July 1, 2020: The House passes by unanimous consent legislation that would extend the deadline for companies to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans through August 8, 2020.