U.S. Representative Darren Soto, along with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, sent a letter to Secretary Steven Mnuchin of the Department of the Treasury and Administrator Jovita Carranza of the Small Business Administration urging that affiliation rules not be changed to allow large private equity firms to gain access to CARES Act funding intended for small businesses. The letter comes in response to possible attempts by large private equity firms to find and exploit loopholes in the CARES Act and subsequent legislation.
“It is not only illogical to allow this funding to be taken advantage of by large private equity firms, but it is also unethical,” said Rep. Soto. “Small businesses are a crucial part of this country’s economy and the financial repercussions of failing to protect them could be long-lasting and disastrous. We have an obligation to do everything within our means to protect Latino, Black and LGBTQ small business owners and employees as they bear the brunt of difficulties in this time of need.”
Reports have shown that layoffs due to COVID-19 have affected members of minority communities far more than any other, with 61% of Latino households and 44% of Black households reporting a pay cut or layoff. By protecting the country’s most vulnerable populations during this time, the likelihood of a faster national recovery is significantly increased.
“Our minority small business owners and their employees are depending on this funding and we must do what we can to protect Latino, black and LGBTQ communities, especially during this great time of need,” the letter states.
The letter was signed by Reps. Gilbert Cisneros, Lou Correa, Henry Cuellar, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Veronica Escobar, Adriano Espaillat, Ruben Gallego, Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia, Vicente Gonzalez, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Grace F. Napolitano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Michael F.Q. San Nicholas, Linda Sánchez, Xochitl Torres Small and Nydia Velázquez.
The full letter can be read here.