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Kildee Initiative Providing $15 Billion for Small Businesses Passes House

October 1, 2020
Press Release
Kildee Provision, Included in Latest COVID-19 Relief Package, Directs Support to Underserved Small Businesses With 20 or Fewer Employees

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded the inclusion of his legislation in the latest coronavirus funding package which provides $15 billion to support our smallest businesses that have been left out of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

This new version of The Heroes Act, passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives, includes Kildee’s Recharge and Empower Local Innovation and Entrepreneurs Fund for Main Street Act (RELIEF for Main Street Act). Kildee’s bipartisan legislation creates a Small Business Local Relief Program to provide direct federal support to cities, counties and states in order to seed and scale local relief funds and target small businesses with 20 employees or fewer, or with 50 employees or fewer located in low-income neighborhoods. The support would be in the form of grants that would not have to be paid back.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. Too many small businesses and their employees have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic,” Congressman Kildee said. “While the Paycheck Protection Program helped many small businesses, we must do more to help the mom-and-pop small businesses on Main Street, especially those with just a few employees. I am pleased the House included my bipartisan legislation to provide direct support to small businesses that need it most.”

While the PPP has been able to help some small businesses and their employees impacted by the coronavirus, millions more remain on the financial brink and are less likely to benefit from existing programs, especially very small, minority-owned, rural or tribal businesses. At the same time, states, cities, counties, and towns have stepped up and established local relief funds to provide emergency support, including loans and grants, to small businesses experiencing revenue loss. Local funds are led by a range of stakeholders, including city and county governments, public authorities, philanthropies, financial institutions, and local chambers of commerce.

Because no two communities are alike, local relief funds such as the ones supported by the RELIEF for Main Street Act can be tailored based on capacity and the financial needs and conditions of local businesses. Grants to small businesses through the program would run through communities, rather than financial institutions, and provide the flexibility for each business to address its individual needs.