Washington, DC – Today, the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy of the House Financial Services Committee held a virtual hearing to examine how government aid from the CARES Act and subsequent economic rescue bills was accessible to small and minority-owned businesses.

Programs set up by the CARES Act, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP), and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) emergency grants contained essential aid to help businesses survive during the pandemic. However, the way these programs were structured allowed larger businesses and those with more established banking relationships to have greater access to funds than small and minority-owned businesses.

“It’s vital we understand why aid to minority-owned businesses was delayed, while other well-connected businesses that were hurting less made their way to the front of the line,” said subcommittee Chairman Jim Himes (CT-04). “Our efforts today are not focused on laying blame, but on helping lay the groundwork of how we can do better going forward, because the issues we are addressing here won’t simply disappear after we defeat this virus.”

The hearing consisted of one panel of witnesses containing experts on small business, including minority-owned small business, and government lending programs:

  • Nneka Brown-Massey, Founder and Creative Director, Innovative Supplies Worldwide, Inc., on behalf of Main Street Alliance
  • Gary Cunningham, President and CEO, Prosperity Now
  • Cliff Kellogg, Executive Director, C-PACE Alliance
  • Everett Sands, CEO, Lendistry
  • Holly Wade, Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business Research Center

For more information, copies of witness testimony, or member opening statements, contact Patrick Malone at Patrick.malone@mail.house.gov.