"As head of the SBA, Isabel will be leading that critical mission to not only rescue small businesses in crisis, but to provide the capital to entrepreneurs across the country so they can innovate, create jobs, and help lead us into recovery," President Joe Biden said in early January when announcing her nomination.
The SBA has been managing the PPP, which was rolled out as part of the US$2.2-trillion relief package approved in March last year. The program has so far given over US$687 billion in forgivable loans.
The PPP, designed to offer forgivable loans for small businesses and encourage them to keep their employees, has drawn criticism over its initial operation, as some argued that it wasted money on not-so-small companies, and didn't provide sufficient support for companies owned by minorities.
Covid-19 deaths in the US continue to decline at a rapid pace, now back to pre-Thanksgiving levels and 61% below their peak on January 13. pic.twitter.com/YbGHK7Iy26
The recently approved US$1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief package bolsters the program with an additional US$7.25 billion in funding to support small businesses and non-profits that were previously excluded.
The relief plan also allocates US$15 billion in flexible grants to help the smallest, most severely impacted businesses persevere through the pandemic, and provides US$28 billion for a new grant program to support hard-hit small restaurants and other food and drinking establishments.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, 400,000 small businesses have closed and millions more are hanging by a thread.
With a record 2842 Covid 19 deaths in the last 24 hours in Brazil, anger is mounting over the news that the US government pressured President Bolsonaro against purchasing the Sputnik V vaccine. My report for From the South. @telesurenglishpic.twitter.com/NWDiHSkzBj