James S. Brady Press Briefing Room Washington D.C. April 2 5:22 P.M. EDT
Okay. Thank you very much. Good to be with you all. We're in a very critical phase of our war against the coronavirus. It's vital that every American follows our guidelines on the "30 Days to Slow the Spread." The sacrifices we make over the next four weeks will have countless American lives saved. We're going to save a lot of American lives. And we're in control of our own fate very much so. Maintaining social distance, practicing vigorous hygiene, and staying at home are your most effective ways to win the war and to escape danger.
While you're fighting this battle from home, we're working with the best scientists, doctors, and researchers anywhere in the world. We're racing to develop new ways to protect against the virus, as well as therapies, treatments, and ultimately a vaccine. And we're making a lot of progress. I think, medically, a lot of progress.
At the same time, we're also racing to get relief to American workers and small businesses, as you know. I want to remind small-business owners across America that the Paycheck Protection Program is launching tomorrow. Nearly $350 billion in loans will be available to small businesses, including sole proprietors. These loans are up to 100 percent forgivable as long as employers keep paying their workers. Got to take care of your workers.
Furthermore, we want Social Security beneficiaries to know that if they are typically not required to file a tax return, they don't have to file one in order to receive the direct cash payments that will soon be distributed to American citizens. The Treasury will deposit the money directly into the bank accounts. And don't forget, I will always protect your Social Security, your Medicare, and your Medicaid. We're protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and I always will.
I'd like now to invite SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, who's doing a fantastic job - she's going to be very busy in the next little while - and Secretary Steve Mnuchin to say a few words about these vital initiatives. And then we'll get on to the attack of the virus itself.
And please, if I might, Steve and Jovita.
Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President and Mr. Vice President, Secretary Mnuchin, Ivanka Trump, and all who I have been working closely with in this effort. Small Business is the backbone of the American economy, and the President has put the nation's 30 million small businesses front and center in the response effort, and we are working hard to get money to them quickly.
This is an unprecedented effort by this administration to support small businesses, and we know that there will be challenges in the process. Secretary Mnuchin and I are working in tandem to ensure that feedback from our partners is being heard and implemented.
The private and public sector must work closely together to ensure that small businesses and their workers across the country are put first. This administration believes wholeheartedly that if you are a small business, you are a critical part of the economic fabric of this country. And your viability is critical to the economic wellbeing of your employees.
At SBA, we are working around the clock to support small businesses, ensuring that we are prioritizing emergency capital for small businesses that are suffering economic harm as a result of this unprecedented situation.
This relief will help stabilize a small business sector by providing businesses with the financial resources they need to keep their workers employed and keep up with their day-to-day operating expenses.
Today I want to ensure that small businesses all over the country know about the Paycheck Protection Program and how they can benefit from this. Simply put, the Paycheck Protection Program is to help keep employees on payroll and small businesses open. SBA will forgive the portion of the loan that is used toward job retention and certain other expenses. We are working closely with lenders so that businesses can go directly to their local lenders.
The Paycheck Protection Program is in addition to substantial work that the SBA has and will continue to do to help small businesses, including providing advances on SBA disaster loans and forgiving existing SBA loan payments over the next six months.
Additional details on these critically important programs can be found at SBA.gov. And we will be updating these resources regularly.
Our hearts go out to those affected by this terrible virus. Our communities around the country are stepping up, and we will get through this together.
At SBA, we know that every phone call, email, or application submitted has a small-business owner, their employees, and the communities they support around the other side. Our most important objective is to allow small businesses to keep their employees onboard and keep their businesses viable through this unprecedented disruption.
I want to reiterate the importance of patience in this process as we work together to ensure that businesses are able to access needed credit. We will continue working around the clock, as we've done, with our federal and private sector partners, expanding capacity and working to make our systems as robust as possible to meet the needs.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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