While the hundreds of billions of dollars set aside to help small businesses provided partial-comfort for some who already had a long-list of disaster debts, the 'Loan Interest Forgiveness for Taxpayers Under a Pandemic', or LIFT UP Act, introduced by Texas senator Ted Cruz and three other Republicans could ease some of that pressure.
Three Brothers Bakery owner Janice Jucker is watching with great interest.
The business was swamped by Harvey, the Memorial Day and Tax Day floods; all before the pandemic hit. Despite federal SBA disaster loans, the bakery is still struggling, financially.
When the federal coronavirus assistance CARES Act offered six months of loan forgiveness to small businesses hurt by the pandemic, Jucker was disappointed when disaster-loan holders, like her, were not included. "So, I said, 'I'd like to get the same thing'," she says.
For months, Jucker has been lobbying lawmakers, networking, and advocating for small businesses. One of those meetings caught the attention of Sen. Cruz, who co-authored the LIFT UP Act, which would extend six months of federal disaster loan forgiveness dating back to money borrowed in 2015.
In a statement, Cruz says, "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and it’s important we provide job creators the tools they need to grow our way out of this crisis."
If passed into law, it could mean tens of thousands of dollars saved for businesses like Three Brother Bakery. "That's a lot of money," says Janice Jucker, "We're all struggling, already, so anything is helpful."