Small Business Advocacy Group Asks Congress For Additional Help

Jul 23, 2020

More than 75,000 loans were issued to businesses and organizations in Indiana through the Paycheck Protection Program.
Credit Justin Hicks / IPB News

Congress continues to debate next steps on federal assistance for small businesses and individuals. An advocacy group says more needs to be done to help many Indiana shops survive.

More than 75,000 loans were issued to businesses and organizations in Indiana through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The program’s deadline is Aug. 8, and aims to keep people on payrolls. Businesses could have the loan forgiven if they met certain criteria.

Barbara Quandt is the Indiana state director with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). As COVID-19 cases are rising and slowing down reopening plans, she said owners want another round of PPP loans.

“And the forgiveness part is tremendous,” said Quandt. “‘Cause are we gonna load ‘em up with debt in order to survive? Then you know a lot of businesses would just say ‘Eh, I’m gonna throw in the towel if this is just too much.’”

The organization is also asking Congress to pass legislation that would protect business owners from liability after regulations have been put into effect by different levels of government in response to the COVID-19 crisis as businesses reopen.

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Quandt said owners trying to take the appropriate precautions shouldn’t have to fear a lawsuit if a customer or employee gets sick.

“It would be the death knell for so many to have frivolous lawsuits,” she said. “They need protection from that.”

Other recommendations the advocacy group is making include businesses being able to get tax relief and unemployment insurance to get people back to work.

Contact reporter Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.