WEBINAR: Romney, Curtis outline pandemic relief resources

On December 23, the Salt Lake Chamber held a webinar to talk about the new COVID-19 legislation and what Utahns can expect. 

Participants included Senator Mitt Romney; Congressman John Curtis; Howard Headlee, president and CEO of the Utah Bankers Association; and Scott Simpson from the banking and credit union industry. Sterling Nielsen, president and CEO of Mountain America Credit Union, and Natalie Kaddas, president and CEO of Kaddas Enterprises, served as moderators. 


“We convened the Roadmap to Recovery Coalition to educate, inform, and advocate for policies that will help Utah businesses working through the pandemic,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “The relief provided in this legislation is needed greatly, and the Chamber has called for many of the provisions contained in the new bill to save Utah businesses and jobs for the people they employ.”  

Much of the discussion in the webinar centered on funding accessibility, revised tax provisions, round two funding details, and additional unemployment insurance. 

Senator Romney provided an outline of allocated stimulus dollars that will go towards refreshing the PPP funding program, unemployment benefits, and targeted industry allocations to ensure our economic system remains intact. A summary of the main points included these specific provisions and dollar amounts below: 

  • Creates a second round of PPP loans for eligible businesses.  

  • Defines eligibility for the PPP second draw as small businesses that have no more than 300 employees and demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross revenues between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. 

  • Establishes a maximum loan size of 2.5X average monthly payroll costs, up to $2 million. 

  • Allows small businesses assigned to the industry NAICS code 72 (Accommodation and Food Services) to receive PPP second draw loans equal to 3.5X average monthly payroll costs. 

  • Provides borrowers receive full loan forgiveness if they spend at least 60% of their PPP second draw loan on payroll costs over a time period of their choosing between eight and 24 weeks.   

  • Includes set-asides to support first-time PPP borrowers with 10 or fewer employees, second-time PPP borrowers with 10 or fewer employees, first-time PPP borrowers who have been made newly eligible, and second-time returning PPP borrowers. Additionally, provides for a set-aside for loans made by community lenders.  

  • Establishes a $15 billion grant program to support shuttered live venues, theaters, museums, and zoos that have experienced significant revenue losses. 

  • Provides enhanced verification and requires increased transparency of SBA’s oversight plans to ensure funds are directly benefiting eligible entities. 


Specific Dollar Amounts in Funding Include:


  • $284.45 billion for Paycheck Protection Program Second Draw Loans. 

  • $25 million for Minority Business Development Centers under the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to assist minority business enterprises with technical assistance, such as applying  for PPP. 

  • $50 million to SBA for PPP auditing and fraud mitigation purposes. 

  • $15 billion for grants for shuttered live venues, theaters, museums, and zoos. 

  • $20 billion for the EIDL Advance program, of which $20 million is for the SBA Inspector General. 

  • $3.5 billion for continuing the Section 7(a) Debt Relief program. 

  • $2 billion to carry out SBA lending enhancements.


“I fought hard as part of a bipartisan group to ensure we provided emergency relief to the many Utahns we love and serve,” said Senator Romney. “We still expect this legislation and our main funding provisions, despite the President’s recent comments, to be enacted and signed into law. This legislation was negotiated between Congressional leadership and White House negotiators, with each side having to compromise. The quick nature around the process and passage was not ideal, but we recognized the ongoing pain of many small businesses and families suffering that needed financial help now.”

Provisions around PPP funding and unemployment insurance are expected to proceed intact with the potential addition of direct additional dollars to families the President has called for last night. The Salt Lake Chamber will continue to advocate for our small business community and those families and employees across the state who are doing their part to abide by rules and pass through this pandemic. 

A Rapid Response Team is being set up to assist small businesses, especially sole-proprietors apply for and receive much-needed assistance. People can find a link to the Rapid Response Team and other resources once the legislation becomes law at coronavirus.utah.gov/business.

For those who were unable to attend the webinar, please click here to watch the recording.