[media-credit name=”Richard Hudson” align=”alignright” width=”350″][/media-credit]
Rep. Richard Hudson of Concord shared his views of the Paycheck Protection Program in an interview. The program provides up to $350 million in forgivable loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees and is aimed at boosting the economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. Hudson, 48, is a graduate of Myers Park High School in Charlotte and UNC Charlotte. He is serving in his fourth term in Congress and is the Republican nominee in the November election in which he is expected to face Democratic nominee Patricia Timmons-Goodson, a former associate justice of the N.C. Supreme Court. The Eighth District includes Cabarrus, Hoke, Montgomery, Moore and Stanly counties and parts of Rowan and Cumberland counties.
Are you satisfied that the community bankers’ general concerns about the program can be satisfied?
Yes. Getting any federal program off the ground is a complicated process that normally takes months. However, the Trump administration and Treasury Department have worked hard to get this program started in one week. I’m encouraged knowing the administration has made a concerted effort to work with banks to craft regulations so that small business owners can access relief through the Paycheck Protection Program at a large number of lenders.
Do you think there are sufficient safeguards in place to avoid excessive fraud?
Congress included numerous safeguards within the legislation itself to ensure adequate oversight is conducted and the Trump administration has assured members of Congress and the public that strong protections and oversight will be in place to avoid fraud in this program.
Was it a tough vote to approve this program given that the terms were unprecedented?
It was a tough call because there are a number of concerns I had with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. I also worry about the price tag. However, families, small businesses and health care workers need immediate assistance. We were able to keep a lot of bad ideas – unrelated to coronavirus that [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi wanted – out of the bill. And provisions like the Paycheck Protection Program will save jobs by providing immediate cash flow to small businesses.
Do you think it will be enough to bridge the gap until we are mostly past the coronavirus spread and business can hopefully revert to a more normal tempo? Do you think a second round of stimulus similar to this will be necessary?
I’m not sure yet. We need to implement the three bills Congress has already passed to address the coronavirus crisis. And we need to see how long before we can get back to whatever the new normal looks like. If more assistance is needed, then I believe the will is there in Congress. But I want to be careful before we spend any more of our grandkids’ money.
How many businesses in 8th District are likely to participate in the PPP program?
I know thousands of applications have already come from my district and I’ve been helping every small business that has reached out.
Any other message to small business owners in the district that you’d like to share?
I want to help small businesses keep as many people on their payroll as possible. To reach that goal, the Paycheck Protection Program and other measures like the Main Street Lending Program are unprecedented measures that will help small businesses keep or rehire workers while the coronavirus pandemic develops. As always, my office is available to assist individuals and small businesses navigate this process and access other resources and information which can be found on my website at Hudson.house.gov/coronavirus.