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Sen. Cruz Pushes to Expand Emergency Relief for U.S. Chambers of Commerce

May 1, 2020

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HOUSTON, Texas - With more than 30 million Americans unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, now more than ever, it's important that small businesses are best equipped to jumpstart the economy. Chambers of commerce provide valuable support to job creators and businesses, which is why U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today announced his intention to introduce legislation to ensure chambers have access to emergency relief funding provided under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP continues to be extremely successful in Texas, with roughly 134,000 different loans approved since the program was enacted, totaling nearly $29 billion.

Upon announcing the bill, Sen. Cruz said:

"As small businesses work to re-open their doors, they'll need access to the resources and tools offered by U.S. Chambers of Commerce. Nearly half of small businesses in Texas are a member of their local chamber. They'll be looking to their chambers for guidance and support as we work to jumpstart the economy and get people back to work. We simply cannot allow these Chambers to go under at a time when they're needed most."

Last week, Sen. Cruz sent a letter to Jovita Carranza, Administrator for the Small Business Administration (SBA), requesting access for chambers of commerce and other 501(c)(6) organizations to the PPP. This month, Sen. Cruz has spoken with Texans in nearly 30 cities who have raised this concern during his virtual statewide tele-tour.

In the letter he called chambers "incubators of growth," writing:

"When we emerge from this pandemic and re-open the American economy, the members of the more than 6,500 chambers of commerce throughout the U.S. will be in urgent need of the services these organizations provide in order to effectuate a swift recovery. In my state, roughly half of all small businesses belong to their local chamber of commerce. Hispanic chambers in particular are working diligently to protect a community that is especially vulnerable to high unemployment. Their efforts demonstrate just how valuable these organizations are, not only to their members, but also to the health of our entire economy. Chambers assist in matching those seeking work with firms who are hiring; attracting skilled workers to their communities and in training local talent; securing funding and designing effective marketing strategies to quickly reclaim market share along with myriad other efforts to support their members. Chambers of commerce would therefore be using PPP proceeds to retain personnel whose core job function is enabling businesses in their communities to grow and thrive. If we allow these incubators of growth and innovation to go under, it will seriously delay our economy's ability to recover from this crisis."

Read the full text of the bill here. For COVID-19 information and additional resources, visit www.cruz.senate.gov/coronavirus/.

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