COVID Relief Funds Need More Transparency and Oversight

By: Laura Oldaker

Fighting this pandemic has been extremely difficult. As a businesswoman and entrepreneur, I’ve seen the firsthand the damage done and know I will remember these days for the rest of my life as some of my most strenuous and stressful. Too many innocent Arizonans have suffered, lost their businesses or worse, lost their lives to this unyielding pandemic—so needless to say, I am ready for the days where we’ll be able to put this virus behind us.

Though local and federal governments have stepped up to help reinforce efforts like ours, and support our community throughout this crisis, there is much more to be done, particularly regarding relief funding. Specifically, the reauthorization of the Paycheck Protection Program could be worth as much as $257 billion and would help bolster local businesses throughout the country, many of which are in health care or directly involved in COVID-19 relief efforts. In making the important decisions as to how to delineate these funds, Congress must also implement measures to protect from fraud, waste, and crony capitalism—issues that plagued early relief efforts.

Increased oversight, transparency, and tracking are critical to prevent these PPP funds from falling into the wrong hands or being wasted. In doing so, the federal government can better ensure that our pandemic relief funds—our taxpayer dollars—are getting where they are needed the most, starting with our frontline workers.


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