Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

May 22, 2020

Senate Democrats Ask Connecticut Federal Delegation for Legislative Fixes to Paycheck Protection Program

Today, a group of Senate Democrats including Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven), Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), State Senator Alex Kasser (D-Greenwich), State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex), State Senator Mae Flexer (D-Killingly), State Senator Carlo Leone (D-Stamford), State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport), State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury), State Senator Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport), State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague), State Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury), State Senator James Maroney (D-Milford), State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams (D-Meriden), State Senator Christine Cohen (D-Guilford), State Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown), State Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) and State Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford) addressed a letter to Connecticut’s congressional delegation, conveying serious concerns of small business owners regarding the Paycheck Protection Program. While the PPP is a well-intended piece of legislation, its standards and guidelines may not be reachable for the average small business it was designed to protect, and business owners will likely need additional protections, the Senate Democrats wrote.

“Many small businesses that received the PPP were not able to reopen in time to meet the deadline and their loans will accrue interest as a result,” they wrote. “There has been no opportunities for businesses to meet the requirements for loan forgiveness.”

Senate Democrats advocated for the PPP to be updated and made interest-free for six months from initial receipt of funds, with utilization time doubled and safety and personal protective equipment added to its allowable expenditures, among other changes.

The full text of the letter is available below and available in PDF format.

May 21, 2020

The Honorable Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator
The Honorable Chris Murphy, U.S. Senator

The Honorable John Larson, U.S. Rep.
The Honorable Joe Courtney, U.S. Rep.
The Honorable Rosa DeLauro, U.S. Rep.
The Honorable Jim Himes, U.S. Rep.
The Honorable Jahana Hayes, U.S. Rep.

Dear members of the Connecticut Congressional Delegation,

We are writing to convey the concerns of many small business owners in our districts and the need for adjustment of the current Paycheck Protections to be passed by the United States Congress.

Currently, many struggling Connecticut businesses are finding themselves in a situation where a loan that was supposed to be a lifeline, might pull them deeper into financial difficulties. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is intended to incentivize small business owners to keep their employees on payroll during the COVID-19 Pandemic. If businesses meet certain requirements, such as utilizing 75% of their loan for payroll within eight weeks, the loan is converted to a forgivable grant. Unfortunately, many Connecticut small businesses that received the PPP were not able to reopen in time to meet the deadline and their loans will accrue interest as a result.

With their doors shut and employees at home since late March, there has been no opportunity for businesses to meet the requirements for loans forgiveness. Connecticut small business owners need flexibility and extra time to either utilize their loans for payroll expenses or be allowed to pay back the full amount of their loan without incurring any interest.

Many of the businesses also need to invest in “Personal Protective Equipment” and other protections for their workers and customers. This is an additional burden to the struggling businesses.

Connecticut small business owners need your help to fix the PPP and allow it to be interest free for six months from the time of receiving the funds. The utilization time needs to increase from eight weeks to sixteen weeks for the conversion to forgivable grant. Moreover, the allowable expenditures should include safety equipment and personal protective equipment for the protection of the workers and customers.

We thank you for your leadership during these difficult times and looking forward to your help and support for the small businesses in the state.


Martin M. Looney, 11th Senate District
Bob Duff, 25th Senate District
Alex Kasser, 36th Senate District
Norman Needleman, 33rd Senate District
Mae Flexer, 29th Senate District
Carlo Leone, 27th Senate District
Will Haskell, 26th Senate District
Julie Kushner, 24th Senate District
Marilyn V. Moore, 22nd Senate District
Catherine A. Osten, 19th Senate District
Joan V. Hartley, 15th Senate District
James Maroney, 14th Senate District
Mary Daugherty Abrams, 13th Senate District
Christine Cohen, 12th Senate District
Matthew L. Lesser, 9th Senate District
Derek Slap, 5th Senate District
M. Saud Anwar, 3rd District
John W. Fonfara, 1st Senate District