Flagstaff Business News
Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema called on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to quickly make adjustments to the Main Street New Loan Facility and Main Street Expanded Loan Facility so Arizona small and mid-size businesses can get needed economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Arizona businesses need economic relief now. I am thankful for the steps the Federal Reserve has taken to stabilize our economy during the ongoing public health and economic crisis, and strengthening the Main Street Loan Facilities is the next step to protect paychecks and good Arizona jobs,” said Sinema.
“Arizona’s job creators deeply appreciate Senator Sinema’s commitment to getting our economy back on track. Her recommendations to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Powell to improve the Mainstreet Lending Facility are critically important to increase the program’s flexibility and its utility for small- and medium-sized businesses, allowing them to reopen at a speed that makes the most sense from a health and business perspective. Senator Sinema’s recommendations could save hundreds of thousands of Arizona jobs, and millions nationwide. The stakes are high as jobless claims hit record levels. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry thanks Senator Sinema for her dogged work to influence policy that positions Arizona enterprises of all sizes for a strong recovery,” Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Under the CARES Act, Congress gave the Treasury Department authority to provide up to $454 billion in loans to Federal Reserve lending programs and facilities. On April 9, the Federal Reserve announced it would establish eleven funding facilities to provide stability and liquidity to the financial system, including the Main Street New Loan Facility and Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (the Facilities). The Facilities aim to support small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the crisis; however, the programs’ terms make lending burdensome, making relief difficult to access for Arizona businesses with the greatest need.
Sinema’s letter specifically calls for Treasury and the Federal Reserve to:
Further expand loan eligibility and include non-profits that are serving Arizonans and aiding in COVID-19 response;
Provide greater flexibility on loan terms;
Ensure that the Facilities are user-friendly and accessible to small community banks and credit unions.
Sinema holds weekly calls with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Arizona small businesses on which she answers questions about coronavirus relief and helps employers with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications. In the recent Congressionally-approved coronavirus package, Sinema helped secure $310 billion for the PPP loans, $60 billion for smaller, disadvantaged businesses, $60 billion for EIDL and grants, $75 billion for health care providers, and $25 billion for testing, including $11 billion directly to states. Sinema also helped secure a number of priorities in the sweeping coronavirus-response CARES Act law, including a $150 billion relief fund for state, local, and Tribal governments, $55 billion more in investments in hospitals and health care workers, and an increase in unemployment benefits. Sinema also recently wrote an op-ed outlining Arizona needs she is working to include in the next coronavirus-response legislation.
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website, www.sinema.senate.gov/corona, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.