WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Mike Braun (R-IN) recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve urging them to improve the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) to help small and mid-sized employers access loans and save jobs.
The MSLP was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Stability (CARES) Act to support lending for businesses that were too big to access the Paycheck Protection Program and too small to apply for corporate debt markets. The program makes available $600 billion in loans to employers that would otherwise be in good financial standing if not for the COVID-19 crisis. Only a fraction of that amount has been deployed since the Federal Reserve started purchasing loans in early July.
“In our view, the MSLP’s success should be judged by the number of borrowers that are able to access the program (i.e., the take-up rate of the programs) and ultimately the number of jobs it saves,” the Senators wrote. “Judging by these standards, the MSLP has had a slow start, with only a handful of our nation’s banks having signed up to be MSLP lenders and the issuance of only a few loans. In our judgment, more support to our nation’s employers is needed.”
“The MSLP is an untapped resource that has the potential to save thousands of jobs, but these could all be lost if businesses can’t access the credit they need at this moment in time,” the Senators continued. “We deeply respect your leadership and tenacity in the development of the MSLP and all of the recovery programs to stabilize our economy and workforce. But we also wish to convey—with urgency—our expectation that your agencies will take swift action to utilize the Title IV CARES Act credit support for small and medium sized employers.”
Read the letter here.