Jones’ Bill Aims to Help Small Businesses Avoid Double Whammy

Louisiana store destroyed by Hurricane Laura. Dreamstime photo

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy have teamed up to propose legislation that would help protect small businesses from a double whammy of coronavirus loan obligations and hurricane damage.

The Disaster Relief for Southeastern Small Businesses Act of 2020 would forgive loans obtained under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for small businesses that have subsequently been damaged by Hurricanes Laura or Sally.

“Alabama’s Main Street businesses have struggled already during the pandemic, and Hurricane Sally is yet another devastating hit,” Jones said. “This legislation will cut through government red tape and allow forgiveness of business loans received as part of our CARES legislation as they continue to re-open and re-build.  It is one way we can help them survive these compounding disasters and continue to serve our communities and create jobs.”

Regulation of the program would be vested with the Small Business Administration in an effort to avoid fraudulent claims, Jones noted.

The bill was introduced Thursday.

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