Congressman Scott Perry talks stimulus package, loans available for small businesses


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The COVID-19 crisis is causing ripple effects in nearly all aspects of daily life and navigating through it can be tough.

Small businesses are scrambling for relief, and most of us could benefit from some self-care.

Congressman Scott Perry (R-10) spoke with ABC27 News about those two topics Wednesday, saying he hopes the $2.2 trillion stimulus package offers some sense of security and hope to Pennsylvanians.

He said it was crucial for him to provide relief for small businesses.

“It’s the small mom and pop shops, the sole proprietors, and folks who have just a few employees who seem to get left behind,” Perry said. “We urged the administration and the Senate, and lawmakers in the Senate, to bring this right home to a personal level where people are dealing with their banks, their credit unions, their financial institutions.”

That Paycheck Protection Program — which was created under the CARES Act — is slated to start Friday.

It sets aside $349 billion in loans that will be available locally, so businesses can keep workers and stay afloat.

“They can’t wait four, five, six months for an agency to figure this out,” Perry said. “Right now, our mission is to get ourselves healthy, and get our economy healthy.”

Concerning the individual stimulus checks many will receive, Perry thinks it’s a start.

“Will it be enough? We don’t know yet, because we don’t know how far this is gonna go, time will tell, but like I said if we gotta do more, we will do more,” Perry said.

Wednesday he hosted a call with doctors, and invited the public to ask questions.

Trauma recovery expert and psychologist, Dr. Shauna Springer, advises managing anxiety by connecting as much as possible.

“Social distancing does not mean emotional distancing,” Springer said. “We can use our technology, our phones and put in a reminder to call one person a day on this rotating list for next couple of months.”

Doc Springer, as she is sometimes called, offered these tips, all based around connecting:

  1. connect to what we can control
  2. proactively connect with others
  3. connect with nature
  4. connect with the future, take actions now that will benefit the future
  5. connect to your own growth, and gain new skills

She says a big one, is getting outside and connecting with nature.

“If we stay in our homes and we don’t go outside, we can grow fearful of the very air that we breathe,” said Springer. “Even just taking out a sheet of paper, writing down what’s under [your] control, what’s not in [your] control. We can use this time right now to deepen ourselves and learn things that can make us smarter and stronger, so that when the economy kicks back in in full force, we’ll be ready to go.”

Of November’s election, and the pause in politics, Perry isn’t concerned.

“From my standpoint, we’re gonna worry about that when we get to it, right now I’m completely focused on being a representative in Congress,” Perry said. “People need to aspire to something, they need to see what the goal is.”

Perry said there were some unnecessary add-ons in the stimulus package, like millions set aside for the Kennedy Center, for example, that he could’ve done without.

The SBA loan program is expected to be running by Friday. You can head to a participating lender or bank and apply.

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