May 20, 2020

U.S. Rep. Lawson Sponsors ‘SOS Act’ to Provide Financial Assistance to Truly Small Businesses

~Legislation Helps Hair Salons, Barbershops, Food Trucks and other Microbusinesses~

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) has joined with U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) in sponsoring the Saving Our Street Act, which provides small businesses and non-profits with direct grants up to $250,000 during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Our small businesses contribute trillions to the U.S. economy each year, but unfortunately, they are not finding the federal relief they need to keep functioning,” Rep. Lawson said. “From hair salons to barbershops, many small-business owners are in need of immediate financial assistance. The Saving Our Street Act is designed to ensure that ‘mom and pop’ small-businesses have access to the funds they need to stay afloat during this pandemic.”

The SOS Act establishes a Microbusiness Assistance Fund of $124.5 billion to provide grants up to $250,000 to small businesses with fewer than 10 employees. It will help neighborhood businesses put people back to work and can be used for payroll, rent, utilities, insurance and personal protective equipment (PPE). 

The funding will be reserved for the small businesses earning under $1 million in revenue a year. Publicly traded companies will be excluded. Nonprofits with less than $500,000 in gross receipts and fewer than 10 employees with also be able to receive funding.  Funds cannot be used to pay salaries over $100,000, and 75 percent of the funding goes to historically underrepresented businesses, including minority-owned businesses.

Other aspects of the SOS Act:

  • $300 million to nonprofit and community organizations assisting small business owners
  • $50 million for minority business centers to provide technical assistance and online training
  • $50 million for centers supporting small and women owned businesses 
  • Requires a report detailing the ethnicity, race, industry, geographical demographics, and sex of applicants for grants.

“From the very beginning of this public health crisis, I have continually called for greater federal assistance for truly small businesses, including minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses,” Rep. Lawson said. “The Saving Our Street Act is another tool in the toolbox to get money down to those small businesses and into the communities that need it most."