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COVID 19 Update 27.1

Post: Apr. 7, 2020

House, Senate Leaders Agree: Small-Business Loan Program Needs More Funding

The Wall Street Journal Reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said he would aim to approve more funding this week for a Paycheck Protection Program that Congress created last month to help firms hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, Mr. McConnell said the $350 billion loan program would soon need more funds because of the huge demand for the federal assistance. He said he would work with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and the Trump administration to approve the funding this week. With lawmakers out of town, Mr. McConnell said he hoped to pass the measure through unanimous consent or a voice vote.

The House Small Business Committee added “Over the first few days, thousands of applications were processed for the program equaling billions of dollars going directly to support our nation’s 30 million small businesses.  This demand has made it clear that funds for the Paycheck Protection Program must be replenished.  After the Senate moves to approve Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s request for more funding, the House should move quickly to ensure small businesses can take full advantage of this vital program.”

Officials Struggle to Get Coronavirus-Relief Loans Out the Door

According to The Hill the administration is struggling to work out the kinks of a coronavirus small-business loan program after a chaotic start Friday. 

Some banks say they are unable to access Small Business Administration (SBA) platforms, while industry leaders say there are unanswered questions about applying for loans and how to take advantage of them.  On Monday, the SBA loan processing platform crashed and was down for hours, preventing lenders from processing any loans, Bloomberg News reported. The system was back up Monday afternoon.

Anecdotally Council Members reported relatively smooth sailing through a process that varied by lending institution.  We did hear of one instance of  what appeared to be an arbitrary denial of a loan. 

Read More at the Hill

OSHA Standards for COVID 19

Temporary Guidance on the enforcement of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard:

CI Webinar: OSHA Guidance and Best Practices for COVID-19 

  • When: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 1 pm
  • Where: Online webinar
  • Cost: No fee to participate

Manufacturers Methodically Hunt for a Cure

The Wall Street Journal reports that an increasing number of drug companies are at work on vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.  

More than 140 experimental drug treatment and vaccines for the coronavirus are in development world-wide, most in early stages, including 11 already in clinical trials, according to Informa Pharma Intelligence.  Including drugs approved for other diseases, there are 254 clinical trials testing treatments or vaccines for the virus, many spearheaded by universities and government research agencies, with hundreds more trials planned.

Researchers have squeezed timelines that usually total months into weeks or even days.  For most treatments and vaccines it will be midsummer before human testing reveals whether they are safe to take, not to mention if they work.

Read More at the WSJ 

Haas, Allendale Machinery Looking to Connect Shops to Manufacture Needed Supplies and Equipment

If you’re looking for shops in your area with available machines and production capabilities, or you have such capabilities to offer, Council member Allendale Machinery and  Haas want to help you connect. Tell them the type of machining or manufacturing capabilities you’re looking for, and what you’re looking to produce, and they’ll try to connect you with shops offering what you need, so you can work together.

There is no better network of qualified machine shops than the worldwide community of Haas owners.

Connect Here