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Cal Cunningham: Struggling North Carolinians, Small Businesses Don’t Have Time To Wait For Relief

NBC News: “Many Americans May Have To Wait Months For Coronavirus Relief Checks”

Politico: “Banks Warn Of Chaotic Launch Of Small Business Lending Program”

RALEIGH, NC — Today, North Carolinians are reading they could “wait months” to receive the federal relief payments from the government, and small businesses are reading that banks responsible for doling out loans are bracing for a “chaotic launch” of the program that “could dwarf the failed kickoff of the Obamacare enrollment web site in 2013.”  In response, Cal Cunningham reiterated the need for swift relief for families and business.

“North Carolinians don’t have five months to wait — hundreds of thousands have already lost jobs, rent is still due, and families still need groceries. I’m also hearing from a large number of small businesses that are also hurting and need relief quickly,” said Army veteran and U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham. “It’s bad enough people have to worry about their health and safety, now some will be forced to wait to get the direct economic relief they were counting on. These reports of expected delays and chaos make worse a stressful time, and the federal government should step up to ensure relief comes fast.”

Cal’s campaign is following recommendations of health officials and Gov. Cooper, postponing in-person events and teleworking. Click here for the most up-to-date information about North Carolina’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the North Carolina Division of Health and Human Services or call 866-462-3821.

Read more below.  

NBC News: Many Americans may have to wait months for coronavirus relief checks

By Kasie Hunt and Alex Moe – April 2, 2020

  • The first Americans to get relief payments from the government under the coronavirus legislation signed into law last month won’t see the money until at least the week of April 13, according to new estimates from the Trump administration provided to House Democrats and outlined in a memo circulated this week by Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee.

  • Many people who don’t have direct deposit information on file with the IRS might have to wait months to get the money.

  • The memo, obtained by NBC News, says that Americans who have their direct deposit information on file will receive their payments in mid-April, “likely” the week of April 13. The document estimates that about 60 million Americans will receive checks at that point.

  • About three weeks after those deposits go out, the IRS will start issuing paper checks, likely the week of May 4, according to the memo. The office that issues paper checks can process about 5 million checks per week, so it could take 20 weeks – nearly 5 months – to get them all out.

Politico: Banks warn of chaotic launch of small business lending program

By Zachary Warmbrodt – April 2, 2020

  • Banks are warning that a $350 billion lending program for struggling small businesses won’t be ready when it launches Friday because the Trump administration has failed to provide them with the necessary guidelines and has set requirements for the loans that are unworkable.

  • The lenders complain that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin boxed them in with an unrealistic deadline and that the ground rules they’ve been given for the program, which is intended to deliver rapid aid to a huge number of ailing businesses, could delay the assistance for weeks or longer.

  • The banks, which will be responsible for processing loan applications and doling out money, are expecting millions of applications from businesses. Some fear a disaster that could dwarf the failed kickoff of the Obamacare enrollment web site in 2013.

  • “Banks are ready and willing to lend, but they need clear rules of the road and a streamlined process to be able to get funding into the hands of small business owners in the coming days,” said Greg Baer, president and CEO of the Bank Policy Institute, which represents the nation’s biggest lenders.

  • The tensions illustrate the difficulties in store for distributing the record $2 trillion in aid that Congress made available last week in a sweeping economic rescue package. The potential failure to deliver small business aid as promised — one of the first big rollouts from the legislation — could deal a major blow to public confidence as a crippling recession looms.

  • That urgency was underscored on Thursday, when the Labor Department reported that unemployment claims soared to a record-smashing 6.6 million last week, more than double the previous week, signaling more economic pain from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The part of the legislation at issue — known as the “Paycheck Protection Program” — was designed to ramp up government-backed loans to small businesses, which are especially vulnerable to a deep economic slump. Congress tried to make the loans more enticing by allowing the loans to be forgiven if borrowers keep paying their employees.

  • An issue of paramount concern for banks is the extent to which they’ll be expected to vet borrowers before approving loans and distributing funds.

  • Banks say the verification requirements could lead to substantial delays in issuing loans — a mandate that could create a lag of weeks or more as they establish the necessary procedures. They are seeking greater assurances that they won’t be held liable if a borrower obtains a loan after providing misleading information.

  • Absent greater flexibility, banks see a scenario where the program at launch only works well for their existing small business customers — the ones they know well — while other potential borrowers miss out on the $350 billion.