President Biden today visited W.S. Jenks & Son, a D.C.-area hardware store that—according to Small Business Administration data—received a Paycheck Protection Program loan from Truist Bank in April 2020. That loan helped keep employees on the payroll during the pandemic.
Mike Siegel, the store’s co-owner, told the president that one of the challenges he faced in the early days of COVID-19 was determining how to keep employees safe. “The first thing we did was, we took all of our at-risk employees and we sent them home, and we paid them through that entire process,” he said. “That first wave of PPP loans was very helpful to allow us to do that.”
During the visit, President Biden discussed his administration’s recent actions to provide an exclusive PPP application window for small employers with 20 or fewer employees. He added that “we’re going to continue this,” with particular focus on ensuring that minority and women-owned businesses can access the emergency lending program.