Sen. Kevin Cramer Leads Effort to Protect Firearm Businesses from Loan Discrimination During COVID-19

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Posted: Apr 29, 2020 3:35 PM
Sen. Kevin Cramer Leads Effort to Protect Firearm Businesses from Loan Discrimination During COVID-19

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

GOP Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) is spearheading an effort to ensure that firearm related small businesses do not receive discriminatory treatment from banks, after the Senate passed additional funding to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Sen. Cramer penned a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza asking the trio of administration officials, all of whom play a role in the execution of PPP loans, how this type of discrimination would be prevented. A group of GOP senators joined Sen. Cramer in defending the Second Amendment during COVID-19:

The letter points out that big banks have historically refused to associate with businesses in the firearm industry:

 “A vocal but small minority has weaponized federally-backed banks against politically disfavored businesses that operate in good faith and compliance with the law, by denying them financial services based on political reasons that have nothing to do with creditworthiness...The Small Business Administration needs to use all available resources and assets in its efforts to move financial resources into local communities as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, we are concerned the nation’s largest financial institutions will use participation in the Paycheck Protection Program and other SBA recovery loan programs to further financial discrimination policies against selected segments of the economy, based on their social policy and in opposition to SBA eligibility regulations,” the letter reads.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a monumental, bipartisan win for America’s small business sector, which has felt the most economic distress during COVID-19. Every qualifying small business deserves to receive the taxpayer-funded loans equally, without an ideological litmus test; partisanship has no place in economic relief packages for America’s workers.

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