Johnson Op-Ed: How to Fix the Paycheck Protection Program

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ron Johnson published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal Monday calling for a review and reforms of the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure relief funds are more effectively spent going forward.

In his piece, Johnson promoted an additional business recovery proposal to provide federal grants of $10,000 per employee to businesses affected by the pandemic in exchange for those businesses turning some ownership stake over to employees in the form of an employee stock ownership plan.

Finally, Congress needs to design a program that combines loans and grants to restore capital to the full spectrum of viable nonpublic businesses. Many businesses are caught in the middle—they either don’t qualify or have run out of PPP funds, and they can’t afford to recapitalize with 100% debt. But a federal grant of $10,000 an employee—similar in size to the PPP’s eight weeks of payroll, and conditioned on an ownership restructuring using a standardized employee stock-ownership plan—combined with a loan the business could support, would enable many to reopen. Providing the ways and means for viable businesses to reopen will be the key to faster economic recovery.

You can read the full piece here.