December 20, 2020

Wyden: COVID Relief Bill Contains Multiple Wins for Oregon Families and Small Business

Senator cites gains in top priorities he pressed for in relief package to help Oregonians with broadband, improved access to capital for women and minority-owned businesses

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said tonght that the COVID relief bill contains significant Oregon wins for top priorities he fought to include for families and small business --  broadband assistance, help for renters, improved access to capital for women and minority-owned businesses, and more.

Those gains, he said, come in addition to the relief package’s provisions Wyden negotiated on unemployment insurance for Oregonians who are out of work through no fault of their own, health policy and tax incentives made permanent for craft beverage producers.

“Oregon families and small businesses face a holiday season like few others in American history more than nine months into this public health crisis and its devastating economic impact,” said Wyden, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee. “I’m glad this package will provide relief on multiple fronts statewide and will keep pressing in the new year to get Oregon communities all the help that’s needed to weather this crisis.”

Wyden highlighted these following additional provisions in the package:

  • Based on Wyden’s Emergency Broadband Connections Act, $3.2 billion will be provided to keep working families connected to the internet. It provides $50 a month for broadband access to anyone laid off or furloughed during the pandemic – critical assistance for Americans needing broadband connections to get new jobs, and to have access to school, health care and other government services.
  • Establishment of the first-ever emergency federal rental assistance program to be distributed by state and local governments. These funds will be targeted to families in Oregon and nationwide affected by COVID and struggling to make the rent and may have past due rent compounding on itself. It also includes an extension of the existing CDC eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021.
  • Dedicated Paycheck Protection Program set-asides for very small businesses and lending through community-based lenders like Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs); $9 billion in emergency U.S. Treasury capital investments in CDFIs and MDIs to support lending in low-income and underserved communities, including persistent poverty counties, that may be disproportionately hurt by the economic effects of the COVID–19 pandemic.
  • Expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit, and ensuring congressional intent is followed and small businesses are able to deduct expenses covered by the Paycheck Protection Program.