U.S Rep. Fred Keller, R-Middleburg, on Oct. 9 applauded the United States Small Business Administration for releasing a streamlined loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling $50,000 or less. The announcement came on the same day that Keller held a roundtable with SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza in Pittston, where he relayed concerns from local lenders and borrowers about the need for streamlined PPP loan forgiveness.

Congressman Keller had held a virtual roundtable with bankers across Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District to hear about concerns borrowers, especially small businesses, were experiencing with PPP forgiveness. While the PPP has been a lifeline for small businesses and their employees, the forgiveness application process has been unclear and slow.

During the virtual roundtable, Keller told participants that Congress intended PPP loans to be forgivable if borrowers used the funds to keep workers on payroll and cover other specified costs. Keller outlined several legislative actions he has taken to push for a streamlined forgiveness process, including co-sponsoring legislation to streamline forgiveness for PPP loans totaling $150,000 or less.

Keller took the concerns from local bankers and small businesses directly to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza during a roundtable in Pittston on Thursday. Later that day, the SBA announced a streamlined forgiveness process for borrowers with PPP loans under $50,000.

The newly released two-page application will significantly simplify the forgiveness process for two-thirds of all PPP loan recipients.

On Friday, Keller made the following statement, “This announcement represents a huge victory for our small businesses and for the millions of American families fighting to sustain their livelihoods. The Paycheck Protection Program has been instrumental to restoring strength to our economy, and the streamlined forgiveness application released yesterday will go even further in ensuring every business has the resources they need to move forward as we enter the next stage of our economic comeback.

“I commend President Donald Trump and Administrator Carranza for heeding the calls of small businesses and community banks across the country,” Keller said. “While this is an important first step, Congress must act swiftly to reauthorize and extend the PPP and drive out the remaining $138 billion that has already been approved so that we can continue relief efforts to help more Americans in need.”

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