Announcement from the office of Representative Derek Kilmer.
On March 18, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) welcomed an announcement by the Small Business Administration to extend the deferral of principal and interest payments for existing borrowers from the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, for a total of 30 months deferral from the start of all approved COVID EIDL loans.
The announcement comes a week after Rep. Kilmer and Senator Cantwell led the Washington state Democratic congressional delegation in a letter to U.S. Small Business Administrator Guzman urging the SBA to extend EIDL loan deferrals. to help Washington State distillers and restaurants rebound from economic losses suffered throughout the pandemic.
“Economic disaster loans under the US bailout have helped thousands of small businesses and local restaurants in Washington and across the country stay afloat and keep people employed during the pandemic. Unfortunately, some local distillers and restaurants struggled to get back on their feet as COVID-19 persisted,” Rep. Kilmer said. “I am thrilled that the Biden administration and SBA Administrator Guzman have responded to the call that Senator Cantwell and I have led to ensure that these local businesses can obtain additional pardon as they work to recover. . I am grateful to my colleagues in Washington who supported this effort.
“COVID-19 cases are falling, but distillers and restaurants are still making up for months of lost revenue,” said Senator Cantwell. “For many Washington State distillers and restaurants, these loans were their last chance to keep their doors open. The Small Business Administration’s decision to extend economic disaster loan repayments gives nearly 70,000 businesses in Washington state much-needed stability in what we all hope will be the endgame of the pandemic.
In 2021, Washington state distillers were ineligible for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund passed as part of the U.S. bailout last March. In April 2021, the entire Washington delegation sent a letter to Administrator Guzman requesting that the criteria be changed to qualify Washington distillers for the RRF. Instead of changing the RRF criteria, the SBA recommended affected distillers apply for EIDL loans as an alternative.
Since the pandemic began, the Small Business Administration has issued EIDL loans to 69,146 Washington state businesses, including distillers and nearly 4,000 restaurants, for a total of $6,587,606,864. Distillers continue to face falling revenues and rising expenses, making EIDL loan deferrals essential for many businesses to keep their doors open.
“We thank Rep. Kilmer, Senator Cantwell, and members of the Washington Congressional delegation for their efforts to support Washington distilleries who have struggled throughout the pandemic. Today’s announcement by the Small Business Administration is good news for distilleries and businesses in the hospitality industry across the country that continue to face an uneven economic recovery,” said Kelly Poulsen, vice president of federal government relations at the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
“On behalf of the Washington State Distillers Guild, I would like to thank the SBA for extending the EIDL loan deferment period for an additional 6 months. This period will provide respite for many family businesses in WA, Main Street, as we rebuild after a two-year pandemic,” said Mhairi Voelsgen, Founder and CEO of Brovo Spirits and President of the Washington Distillers Guild. “This is a truly powerful example of the difference an engaged legislator can make – help protect small business jobs and get WA distilleries, many of them family businesses, back on their feet. Thank you Senator Cantwell and the rep Kilmer and their great staff!”