Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., middle, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Senate Minority Chief Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., conduct a information convention after the Senate Coverage luncheons within the Capitol, March 14, 2017.
Tom Williams | CQ Roll Name | Getty Photographs
Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are pushing the Federal Commerce Fee to take extra steps to protect small companies from scams as they attempt to entry help in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a Wednesday letter to company Chairman Joseph Simons, 11 Democrats led by Klobuchar and Warren raised issues about scammers “exploiting” the recognition of the Paycheck Safety Program, Small Enterprise Administration help designed to maintain workers on payroll at distressed small companies. They pointed to experiences of individuals sending faux gives of SBA loans to firms to be able to steal private data.
“Given the seriousness of this subject, we urge the FTC to take motion to raised inform small companies about fraud and help victims in understanding how they’ll get assist and keep away from falling sufferer to exploitation,” the senators wrote to Simons, who leads the company charged with defending customers and rooting out misleading enterprise practices.
The lawmakers requested what further steps the FTC would take to tell small enterprise homeowners about misleading practices, stop scams and help victims. In addition they questioned what the company is doing particularly to guard small companies owned by girls, minorities and veterans, in addition to small firms in rural areas, which they stated are extra weak to scams as a result of they’re extra prone to lack entry to capital.
Late final month, the FTC revealed an inventory of suggestions on how enterprise homeowners searching for SBA help can establish scams.
Klobuchar and Warren, amongst obvious Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s 2020 working mate selections, have repeatedly pushed for more durable oversight of the U.S. financial and health-care response to the pandemic.
The FTC didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the senators’ letter.
As efforts to gradual the pandemic’s unfold ravage the economic system, the federal authorities took steps to swiftly dole out an unprecedented $2 trillion help package deal handed in March. The hassle led to a spread of points, as the primary spherical of $350 billion in small enterprise help funding evaporated in days. A number of massive public firms received help and a few firms with out an present banking relationship discovered themselves shut out of mortgage entry.
The spending bonanza has additionally opened alternatives for fraud. The primary two folks had been charged Tuesday with fraudulently making use of for help by making false statements to affect the SBA.
The Senate returned to Washington this week as Congress considers its subsequent strikes to blunt the injury from the outbreak. The Home will head again to the Capitol as quickly as subsequent week.
Looming fights in Congress embody whether or not to ship federal help to state and native governments and cross legal responsibility protections for companies as they reopen in the course of the pandemic.
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