WASHINGTON — Today Congressman Lance Gooden (TX-05) and Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25), joined by eight additional Texas Republicans, sent a letter to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman requesting the agency explain and address its communication deficiencies surrounding COVID-19 relief program applications.
“The small businesses I represent back home need these loans to bridge financial hardship brought on by COVID lockdowns,” said Congressman Gooden. “Biden’s SBA has failed to provide them, and now Congress as well, timely updates surrounding their pending applications. Without the certainty that comes with knowing help is on the way, many of these businesses are in danger of folding before that help arrives.”
“The SBA’s COVID-19 relief programs, such as the Shuttered Venues Operator Grant, have been a critical lifeline to individuals and small businesses in their recovery process. However, over the last few months constituents and congressional staff have requested information and sent questions to the SBA on these programs and have received little to no responses. These communication failures are unacceptable and Biden’s hand picked leaders at the SBA need to be held accountable for neglecting their duties and turning their back on taxpaying small business owners,” said Congressman Williams.
With congressional inquiries to SBA’s San Antonio, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth District Offices and the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs having failed, members of the Texas delegation sent a letter to Administrator Guzman requesting a congressional briefing and answers to the following questions:
- What is the preferred method of contact for all Congressional inquiries? Please explain if contacts vary by program.
- Should we expect to receive an acknowledgment of the inquiry? If so, what is the time frame in which we can expect to receive an acknowledgment?
- What is the time frame we can expect to receive a final response?
- What is the percentage of your workforce that is still teleworking?
- What is SBA doing to update small business owners on the status of their applications?
- What is SBA doing to accurately inform applicants on why they were denied and what other SBA programs may be available to them?
A full copy of the letter to Administrator Guzman is available here.