MEMA President and CEO Bill Long issued a statement to association members as well as the media, in support of “H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020,” which President Trump signed into law March 6.
The bill provides an additional $8.3 billion that will be available to combat the coronavirus. Both the U.S. House and Senate quickly passed the bill this week by overwhelming bipartisan margins.
Long said the MEMA staff will work hard to shape implementation of this measure. “We will also keep on top of future coronavirus response developments as we continue to connect with the business community as well leaders in the White House and on Capitol Hill. H.R. 6074 may only be a first step in federal efforts to mitigate adverse medical and economic impacts,” he noted.
H.R. 6074 provides funding to help with vaccine development, assist state and local government responses to potential virus outbreaks, add international health and disaster assistance, and make available up to $7 billion in Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency loans available to small businesses impacted by coronavirus.
“If the situation worsens, these new SBA loans might benefit some MEMA member companies,” Long pointed out. “However, for these emergency loans to be available, it is our understanding that the President must declare that a specific county or group of counties is a disaster because of the coronavirus. These declarations typically come in response to a request from a governor who has determined that the situation is beyond the capacity of the state and local governments to address. For example, just this week Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee requested that a six-county region hit by tornadoes this week be named by President Donald Trump a federal disaster area.
In addition, an applicant will need to demonstrate economic harm due to the virus.
The key criteria for overall SBA loan eligibility for companies in the motor vehicle parts manufacturing sector is number of employees, according to Long. Specifically, companies with up to 1000-1500 employees could be eligible.