Sens. Marco Rubio and Susan Collins said Wednesday they want the government to provide grants to small businesses for six to eight weeks to keep their employees on the payroll through the shock of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rubio, a Florida Republican who is chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, is working on the small business portion of the forthcoming pandemic bill that is meant to move through the Senate at “warp speed.” He said Wednesday that the proposal would entail the Small Business Administration providing loans that would be forgiven if recipients could show the money was used to maintain payroll.
“The alternative is to send everybody money through the unemployment system, but now, you’re disconnecting them from employment,” Rubio said on CNBC. “I think the last thing we need here is disconnecting people from the security of knowing they have a job to go back to even when this ends.”
The proposal would cost approximately $300 billion, based on Treasury Department estimates, said Collins, a Republican who represents Maine.