Ronna McDaniel is chair of the Republican National Committee. Follow her on Twitter @GOPChairwoman.
In my hometown in Michigan, I have seen our community rally to do all we can to support our neighbors and local businesses during this difficult time. All Americans are grateful for our Asian Pacific American neighbors and friends, especially the doctors, nurses, and medical professionals for their selfless service and sacrifices to combat the virus on the frontlines.
Thanks to President Donald Trump, more help is on the way for Asian American owned small businesses. From the start of this pandemic, the President’s first priority has always been the health and well-being of Americans, especially our most vulnerable. While he and his team are working to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, he is also working to ensure that our economy can bounce back afterwards.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw record low unemployment in the Asian American community. Many Asian American entrepreneurs contributed to what was one of the best economies we had ever seen in America. But in a matter of just a few weeks, small businesses that were bustling with activity have now gone empty, as they play their part in slowing the spread of this disease.
There is a lifeline for the millions of Asian American small business owners called the Paycheck Protection Program. This amazing program is a product of the bipartisan relief package that President Trump signed into law, providing $350 billion of liquidity in the form of forgivable loans to small businesses all across America and, because the program has already been so successful, at President Trump’s urging, Congress just allocated an additional $310 billion for the program. A portion of the bill will assist small businesses that do not have relationships with approved banks and have a harder time accessing funds. Small business owners may apply for up to eight weeks of cash-flow assistance at their local bank or at any one of the Small Business Administration’s approved lenders.
As long as the loans go toward things like maintaining all employees’ salaries and keeping the lights on and doors open, they will be forgiven in full; so essentially this is a grant. For Asian American small business owners there is guaranteed cash with no-strings-attached waiting for you, but you must apply.
If small businesses can keep their employees on payroll, it will be easier for them to get back up and running, once the economy reopens, putting our country in the strongest possible economic position. Small businesses can find details and more, as well as apply, at sba.gov/ppp.
Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, small businesses are going to weather this storm and they, along with our entire economy, will recover and come roaring back stronger than ever before.