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Cortez Masto seeks Nevada SBA emergency loan data

Humberto Sanchez
Humberto Sanchez
CongressCoronavirusGovernmentIndyBlog
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U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has asked the Small Business Administration to provide information on Nevada small businesses and lenders participating in the SBA’s emergency loan program, saying she is concerned about small businesses that typically do not have access to credit.

“I am writing to share my concerns about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and to request your agencies work diligently to provide more detailed and up-to-date data on the lenders and businesses applying to, and participating in, the program,” she wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.

The letter comes after Congress last week provided another $321 billion for the PPP, which provides loans to businesses of fewer than 500 employees that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The loans will be forgiven if they are used to maintain payroll and certain other expenses. The program exhausted the initial $349 billion in funding the week before.

Specifically, Cortez Masto wrote that she wants, by May 8, the national PPP numbers and a Nevada-specific breakdown. That includes the total number of PPP loans and the amount of each business loan.

She also wants the number of employees and average monthly payroll of each business, the sector in which the business operates, whether the business was a new customer for the lender or had an existing relationship and whether the business applied through a general application system or another system.

The data will help ensure that Nevada gets a fair share of the funding, she said. The state fared poorly in the first round of funding, coming in last in the number of loans and the total loan amount compared to states with comparable populations. 

Cortez Masto pointed out that the “Nevada businesses and families have always faced unique challenges in accessing banking services and it ranks as the most underbanked state in the nation.” 

She said that the state also has a high one of the highest rates of minority business ownership in the country and that she heard from many constituents who were unable to secure loans because lenders preferred to lend to businesses with existing commercial relationships.

“For PPP to be successful, it must reach the communities and businesses most in need, including those sectors of the economy that are most heavily impacted and that lack other sources of emergency credit,” Cortez Masto said.

Disclosure: The Nevada Independent was approved for a PPP loan.

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