On June 3, 2021, Gusto sent a letter on behalf of the SBRC to the Treasury urging that the $10 billion in SSBCI funds be implemented in a way that prioritizes small businesses owned by people of color, women, and those otherwise left out of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). SBRC and Gusto provided several recommendations to the Treasury based on our collective experience working with small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and PPP. Our goal is to ensure SSBCI funds support the ongoing recovery efforts in an equitable and inclusive manner.
In its role founding and chairing the SBRC, a cross-industry coalition of organizations representing millions of small businesses during the COVID recovery, Gusto has become acutely aware of both the successes of, and challenges with, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other government assistance for small businesses. As part of this SBRC work, Gusto research has shown that women-owned businesses on Gusto’s platform have recovered employment at less than half the rate of male-owned businesses, while BIPOC-owned businesses have received PPP loans at lower rates than other businesses.
Based on these findings, the letter makes several policy recommendations such as permitting non-bank lenders—who throughout COVID provided aid to the most underserved communities—to participate in SSBCI. Additionally, the letter encourages the Treasury to offer standardized advice to the states on how to reach underserved communities, focus efforts on ensuring a higher percentage of loans go to the smallest businesses, and simplify loan application processes to ensure greater inclusivity in access to government aid.
Gusto believes in supporting all small businesses, and this letter illustrates some ways to do so. Read the full letter here: