88% of Maine Small Businesses Have NOT Received Assistance
Collins’ Fellow GOP Senator Says “‘Unfortunately, When it Comes to the PPP, Millions of Dollars are Being Wasted.’”
Portland, MAINE — The program created by Maine Senator Susan Collins to rescue Maine small businesses suffering from the coronavirus-induced economic shutdown is failing to deliver for the Mainers it was supposed to help. Instead, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is benefitting special interests and large corporations who are taking advantage of loopholes in the legislation that Collins wrote. Even a new infusion of cash from Congress expected this week won’t fix the program’s fundamental flaws.
“PPP is not working for Mainers who need help the most right now,” said Willy Ritch, executive director of 16 Counties Coalition. “In this time of crisis, Senator Collins is delivering — just not for the people she serves. Instead, special interests and large corporations are exploiting loopholes in the legislation she wrote and taking away funds that are supposed to help small businesses. Enough is enough — we need Senator Collins to start listening to regular Mainers.”
So far, 88% of Maine small businesses have not received assistance from the PPP program. So who is getting relief? Recent headlines from across the country tell the story:
Associated Press: “Publicly Traded Firms Get $300M in Small-Business Loans”“Companies with thousands of employees, past penalties from government investigations and risks of financial failure even before the coronavirus walloped the economy were among those receiving millions of dollars from a relief fund that Congress created to help small businesses through the crisis, an Associated Press investigation found. The Paycheck Protection Program was supposed to infuse small businesses, which typically have less access to quick cash and credit, with $349 billion in emergency loans that could help keep workers on the job and bills paid on time. But at least 75 companies that received the aid were publicly traded, the AP found, and some had market values well over $100 million. And 25% of the companies had warned investors months ago — while the economy was humming along — that their ability to remain viable was in question.”
Wall Street Journal: “PPP Loan Terms Amount to Legalized Fraud”“Healthy companies can easily exploit aid meant for those that had to shut down…the Paycheck Protection Program is completely flawed and will function as a handout to companies that don’t need it. Billions of misspent dollars will never be paid back.”
Portland Press Herald: “Federal Loan Program a Catch-22 For Some Maine Small Businesses”“A federal loan program intended to rescue small businesses and workers from economic devastation during the coronavirus pandemic has shortfalls that some Maine companies say will prevent the program from saving jobs as intended.”
Washington Post: “White House, GOP Face Heat After Hotel and Restaurant Chains Helped Run Small Business Program Dry”“Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) criticized the program, saying that ‘companies that are not being harmed at all by the coronavirus crisis have the ability to receive taxpayer-funded loans that can be forgiven. I am concerned that many businesses with thousands of employees have found loopholes to qualify for these loans meant for small businesses,’ Scott said. ‘Unfortunately, when it comes to the PPP, millions of dollars are being wasted.’”
Bangor Daily News: “Maine Fishermen Say They Missed Out on Pandemic Relief Program”“Fishermen were just starting to realize there were opportunities for them to kind of work within this process. And now it’s done. So there is a lot of concern that fishermen were left out,”…“It’s not just the seafood industry. I’m sure we’re going to be hearing these stories from a lot of these sectors of Maine’s communities and the nation, but fishermen in particular because of what their businesses look like were just at a disadvantage from the start.”
About the 16 Counties Coalition The 16 Counties Coalition is a year-long grassroots advocacy campaign aimed at amplifying the voices of families and working Mainers and encouraging Senator Susan Collins to vote in favor of the people she was elected to represent and defend. The campaign will mobilize members through small- and large-scale events, through digital action, and paid television, radio, and digital ads.
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