Sen. Marco Rubio wants to offer small businesses money so they can keep paying their employees

Sen. Marco Rubio told CNBC on Wednesday he wants to use a network of lenders for an existing program to help small business employers and employees weather the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

“We need to start thinking about not just small business, obviously, but the people who work for them,” said the Florida Republican, chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “We are trying to figure out the most effective way to get cash into the hands of small businesses so that they can maintain payroll for at least a six-week period.”

Rubio said lenders across the nation, including big banks and hundreds of community banks and credit unions, could deliver “what would be initially considered a loan to the full amount of the payroll.”

However, if companies were to use the money solely to keeping paying workers, they would not have to pay the loan back, Rubio said. He added that any portion of money used for other purposes could be returned “or then convert a year from now into a loan.”

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