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Amata says Small Business aid for American Samoa now tops $15.2M

SBA Building Washington, D.C.
Sources: Media release from Cong. Aumua Amata's office

Washington, D.C. —  On Monday Congresswoman Aumua Amata said a surge in reports from the Small Business Administration (SBA) showed a weekly rise in assistance for American Samoa’s small businesses and nonprofits.

The total increased by $3 million to $15,226,818. That includes 287 combined loans from two programs and 162 emergency advances, at an average of $5,580 per advance.

“This money goes right into the local economy,” said Aumua Amata. “These funds are uniquely helpful because of the way they go directly to small businesses and nonprofits.”

The weekly update in SBA assistance shows strong activity in the final full week of access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which ends June 30th, while the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program also increased in both local loans and emergency advances.

PPP Loans: As reports came through this week, this total grew by 41 loans and another $1.4 million to reach 197 loans since the start and a sum of $8,735,518.

EIDL Advances: Another 30 of American Samoa’s employers have accessed important EIDL emergency advances (these are direct assistance, not loans), for a new total of 162 approved and a new sum of $904,000.

EIDL Loans: Another 20 employers accessed these loans as well, adding $1.3 million this week, now totaling 90 loans for a sum of $5,587,300.

The temporary PPP assistance, which Congress created in the CARES Act in March, is closing out.  The EIDL program will continue for most of 2020, and small businesses and nonprofits can access this aid through local lenders.

Congress will continue debates in July on additional assistance, and Congresswoman Amata and others advocate an extension of unemployment assistance due to job market interruptions.