A new bill introduced in Congress last week aims to provide financial assistance to border businesses hit hard by the pandemic.
The Border Business COVID-19 Rescue Act was introduced on January 21 by Representative Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Tucson who represents Santa Cruz County as part of Arizona Congressional District 3. adjusted gross income less than $ 500,000.
In one news release, Grijalva’s office said the bill would provide immediate advance loans of $ 10,000, as well as loans of up to $ 500,000 for qualifying expenses. The loans would be repayable up to 100 percent, as authorized by the Small Business Administration, which would administer the funds under its Disaster Emergency Loan (EIDL) program.
“Dynamic cross-border traffic is the cornerstone of the border economy,” Grijalva said. “The border closures as part of the public health emergency have uniquely devastated these trade corridors that have been around for generations. Many border companies have seen little or no support from previous relief programs, and this bill will ensure that resources will go directly to those who have suffered disproportionately.
the news The statement cited the example of Nogales, where the number of border crossings collapsed in April 2020, the first full month that travel restrictions were in place. That month, only 53,798 pedestrians entered the city through local ports of entry, up from 280,227 in April 2019, according to the United States Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Meanwhile, sales tax revenue for the town of Nogales fell by more than 30% in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
“With a vaccine already in place, the end of the pandemic is in sight,” Grijalva said. “We need to target helping the hardest hit small businesses so they can safely navigate the next few months and be ready to bounce back.”
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