WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a Senate Budget Committee and Senate Banking Committee member, announced today the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, his bipartisan legislation to streamline forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses, is included in the bipartisan, bicameral COVID-19 relief package being considered in Congress.

“Small businesses across the country are hurting, and they need our help,” said Senator Cramer. “Without compromising safeguards for fraud and abuse, the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act eliminates their anxiety about receiving forgiveness for the loans we pushed them to take and they needed to survive. I thank Senator Collins and those leading this bipartisan effort for recognizing the importance of helping our small businesses with PPP forgiveness and including our bill in their proposal. It’s past time we get something done for the American people.”

The framework for this bipartisan, bicameral plan was introduced earlier this month by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Angus King (I-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) with Representatives Gottheimer (D-NJ), Tom Reed (R-NY), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), and Dean Phillips (D-MN). Senator Cramer praised this group’s efforts and called on Congress to pass a relief measure. This group shared details of the proposal this week.Learn more here.

The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act offers forgiveness for PPP loans of $150,000 or less if the borrower submits a legally-binding, one-page attestation form to the lender. This would account for approximately 86 percent of all PPP recipients, but less than 27 of PPP funds. Since Senator Cramer introduced this legislation with Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) this summer, the bill has gained the support of 32 senators and over 200 organizations and associations. Learn more here.

 “We applaud these bipartisan efforts to provide additional assistance to small businesses, particularly for the smallest businesses in the country through streamlined forgiveness who can focus on reopening and paying their employees instead of worrying about bureaucratic paperwork. Streamlining forgiveness for loans less than $150,000 will collectively amount to an additional $7 billion small businesses can use to keep local economies on the road to recovery,” said Consumer Bankers Association President and CEO Richard Hunt. 

“Credit unions were proud to participate in the PPP and help their members and communities, but dismayed by the bureaucratic complexity the program presented borrowers and lenders alike,” said President and CEO of the Credit Union National Association Jim Nussle. “We applaud the leadership of Senators Cramer, Menendez, Tillis and Sinema to secure a forgiveness simplification process that will allow lenders and borrowers to focus on what’s most important: keeping businesses going as we get through this crisis.”

“Thanks very much to Senator Cramer and Senators Menendez, Sinema, and Tillis for their leadership and determination to secure this common sense legislation. These provisions will simplify PPP loan forgiveness and ensure that small businesses across the country - and especially those in rural communities - receive the help Congress intended,” said Todd Van Hoose, President and CEO of the Farm Credit Council.

“ICBA is pleased to see the inclusion of The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act (S. 4117) in the bipartisan legislation introduced today. The Paycheck Protection Program has been a critical lifeline for thousands of American small businesses struggling to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus. We must not allow the success of the program to be undermined by an overly complex process for obtaining forgiveness. Small business owners must not be distracted from the challenge of adapting their businesses to a new environment and protecting the safety of their employees and customers by a detailed and demanding forgiveness process or the expense of hiring an accountant,” said Rebeca Romero Rainey, President and CEO, Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA).“The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act (S. 4117) would address this problem by allowing smaller PPP borrowers with loans of less than $150,000 to self-certify that loan proceeds have been used in accordance with program guidance and qualify for forgiveness. This common-sense solution will greatly simplify loan forgiveness and promote the resilience of small businesses and the economic and jobs recovery. This broadly bipartisan and bicameral legislation is critical to the ultimate success of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We thank Senator Cramer for advancing this vital legislation and his longstanding support for community banks and small businesses. We look forward to working with him to ensure this important provision becomes law.”