Senators are worried gun and energy industries have the potential to be left out of SBA recovery loan programs

Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 6:52 PM CDT
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Lawmakers signed a letter this week expressing concern that Small Business Administration coronavirus relief loans could be cut off from certain industries, especially those involved with firearms and ammunition.

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is leading the effort to question the SBA and the Administration in a letter released Tuesday.

He and 18 other senators are looking for answers regarding what efforts they're taking to ensure financial institutions are approving and distributing funds in an unbiased way, if they've properly communicated eligibility regulations to financial institutions, and how they'll address potential conflicts if these regulations are violated.

According to SBA regulations, lenders determine whether an applicant's business is ineligible for certain programs.

Senators acknowledge that oftentimes the issue then does not derive from those lenders, but from the openly biased financial institutions.

”Several of the nation's systematically important financial institutions in this country use their market dominance to financially discriminate against legal and compliant businesses for political reasons. And, of course, chief among them are the firearms and ammunition industries,” says Cramer.

The questions in the letter, which Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., also signed onto, are a push by those lawmakers to ensure no small business is left out of SBA recovery loan programs.

The letter also states that oil and gas, coal, and private corrections industries are being affected as well.