Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester issued a statement April 17 on the ongoing negotiations related to the Paycheck Protection Program.

“All across the country, small businesses are making the impossible decision to either lay employees off or retain them against their businesses’ best interest,” said Blunt Rochester. “The Paycheck Protection Program is a vitally important tool for our small businesses and our economy, and it is clear, we need to work quickly to expand the program. Yesterday, funds on the Paycheck Protection Program that was created through the bipartisan CARES Act Congress passed just a few weeks ago were exhausted. One of our most critical jobs as policymakers is to determine the efficacy of any program that we put in place, and while the Paycheck Protection Program has helped get much-needed capital to some small businesses, we also know the program is not without its flaws. According to reports in Delaware and across the nation, some of our smallest businesses and businesses who are underbanked, minority-owned, or without traditional banking relationships have largely been left out of the process. It is within our power to correct those errors while continuing to ensure that small businesses are receiving the funds that they need. We must ensure that any new legislation getting passed out of either chamber includes language to protect and prioritize the businesses who need it most, to create much-needed guidelines in the lending process, and increased transparency in the approval and denial process to ensure all of our small businesses have the tools they need to be restored from this crisis. I’m calling on my Republican colleagues to come to the table in good faith so we can quickly address these issues so that all small businesses can benefit from this vital program.”