- Bipartisan infrastructure bill proposes the elimination of $31 billion from the EIDL and EIDL Targeted Advance programs
- The programs have provided low-interest loans and grants to more than 4 million businesses to help with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
- Other unused pandemic relief would also be used as part of the funding strategy for the infrastructure bill
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
The $1 trillion bipartisan compromise measure to improve infrastructure in the United States is proposing to rescind billions of dollars from a U.S. Small Business Administration relief program as well as other unexpended pandemic relief.
The measure would invest in physical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, public transportation, broadband, railroads, and port and airport facilities. It is slowly making its way through Congress after the proposal of hundreds of amendments.
One proposed source of funding for the measure is the rescinding of $13.5 billion in the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which provides low-interest loans for small businesses to meet operating costs when they lose revenue due to a disaster. Program eligibility was expanded to all small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The infrastructure bill also seeks to rescind $17.5 billion from the EIDL Targeted Advance program, which provides $15,000 grants to hard-hit small businesses in low-income communities.
- SBA data shows that EIDL has paid $236 billion to 3.8 million businesses as of July 29, while the EIDL Targeted Advance program has supported 314,000 businesses with $2.6 billion
- Other unused pandemic relief funding would also be tapped to fund the bill, including $53 billion in federal supplemental unemployment funding that has not been used do to the economic recovery or states withdrawing from the program early, $3 billion in unused relief funds for the airline industry, and $175 million that was appropriated to the SBA for salaries and expenses in administering relief programs
- The bill also proposes to end the Employee Retention Credit three months early