U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio joined Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon Friday to announce a new round of funding for Florida small businesses under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Those PPP loans are issued by banks and local lenders, but are fully backed by federal money. That money dried up earlier this month, but Congress approved another $310 billion for the program in new legislation this week.
Now, Solomon says Goldman Sachs will back another infusion of those loans to help small businesses in the Sunshine State.
“As a part of our ongoing partnership with the state, Goldman Sachs has committed $15 million for loans to Florida’s small businesses through Lendistry, a leading mission-driven lender,” Solomon said.
“This is in conjunction with a $550 million commitment that Goldman Sachs recently announced to aid small businesses and communities suffering through the coronavirus crisis. The package includes $500 million in emergency small business loans and $25 million in grants to community development financial institutions and other mission-driven lenders.”
Lendistry offers a portal to apply for those loans on its website.
The $15 million will be backed by a federal guarantee once additional PPP funds are fully approved.
“Congress has now passed the additional funds that serve as a guarantee for these loans that are going to be made,” Rubio explained. “The President is supposed to sign it today around noon or so.”
Both Solomon and Lendistry CEO Everett Sands spoke Friday about the need to protect Florida’s small businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.
“We all know that small businesses are the foundation of the American economy, employing nearly half of the American workforce, and serving as the bedrock of our communities,” Solomon said.
“Unfortunately, today these businesses and others are at risk. No one company, state or individual will be able to overcome this challenge. When dealing with a crisis of this magnitude, it is the intersection of the public and private sectors that is critical.”
Added Sands, “Small businesses employ more people than national chains do. They’re the backbones of our community and life would be hard for everyone at every level without them. We need to make sure that they get through this crisis and are still here when it’s over.”
Rubio strongly backed the PPP, but has also pitched proposed improvements for the program going forward, responding to criticism that the program gave multi-million dollar loans to large companies despite it being developed for businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
“The goal in this is to reach as many people as possible and save as many jobs as possible,” Rubio said. “This is good news at a time we need as much good news as we can get.”