Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) says Democrats and the White House could “soon” agree on a new COVID-19 stimulus package, presumably including more loans for small and medium-sized businesses. Schumer, the Senate's ranking Democrat, said both sides plan to work through the weekend to hammer out their differences.
“We’ve had constructive talks,” Schumer told the MSNBC program “Morning Joe” on Friday (April 17), as reported by CNBC. “They’re going to continue through the weekend, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t come to an agreement soon.”
Schumer said earlier Friday that any deal had to be more comprehensive than just giving money to a small business program.
Negotiations began last week on Capitol Hill to reach a compromise on a $250 billion measure. Democrats insist that some cash be reserved for hospitals, states and local governments, while the GOP wants the latest bailout to be exclusively for small business loans – but a truce appears to have been reached.
A top House Republican told The Wall Street Journal that he would support adding money for hospitals to the small business aid program, signaling that the stalled talks could soon end and that Congress will send the newest bill to the president next week.
By Thursday (April 16), small business owners had already depleted the initial $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offered through the Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the federal coronavirus relief package, just one week after it debuted.
As PYMNTS reported, SMB businesses said they expect the pandemic to outlast their available cash resources. Researchers learned that as of April 6, the average SMB had enough money for about five weeks. The government money, they said, would allow them to stay open for about three months.
The study also revealed that 28 percent of retail SMB owners said they were sure their businesses would not survive the pandemic, compared to 17 percent who said the same on March 24.
They noted that receiving government aid would enable them to stay open for about three months, but they expected the pandemic to last an average of five months, leaving a sizable gap between the number of days they expected to survive and the number they needed to weather the crisis.