Biden signs 2-month paycheck protection program extension


President Joe Biden extended the pandemic-era Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) deadline by two months on Tuesday, calling small business owners the “backbone” of the US economy.

What would you like to know

  • President Joe Biden extended the deadline to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program from March 31 to May 31 on Tuesday
  • The Small Business Administration, the agency that approves loan applications, will now have until June 30 to process applications
  • First deployed in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the program was intended to help Americans stay employed during the economic downturn
  • Biden’s US bailout, enacted this month, provided an additional $ 7.25 billion for the program

With Biden’s signing, the application deadline for the program is extended to May 31, which was scheduled to expire on Wednesday, March 31. The federal government now has until June 30 to process applications.

“I want to thank Senators Cardin, Shaheen, Rubio and Collins for their work in the Senate, it was a bipartisan effort,” Biden said from the Oval Office. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Susan Collins (R-ME), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) drafted the original paycheck protection program under the CARES Act Last year; the latter three also presented the PPP Extension Act of 2021 to the Senate.

Last week, the Senate passed Bill 92-7 to extend the time limit for business owners to apply for forgivable loans under the program, having already passed the House on a largely bipartisan vote of 415. -3.

“The PPP has supported millions of small businesses during the pandemic, and it is clear that the program must continue to be a lifeline for small businesses and nonprofits,” said Senator Cardin, chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, in a press release. “It is essential that we in Congress continue to work in a bipartisan fashion to refine the PfP in the coming weeks in order to make the program more fair and equitable. “

“The PPP has been a huge success, supporting millions of small businesses and tens of millions of jobs,” added Senator Collins. “Small businesses need this help to stay afloat and keep paying their employees. I’m glad Congress acted before the P3 expired to avoid a program disruption and to give small business owners a crucial two-month extension to access this lifeline.

Senator Rubio tweeted that he was hearing from small business owners who received P3 loans, and thus “saved their business and kept workers employed” in his home state.

First rolled out in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and renewed in December, the program was intended to help Americans stay employed during the economic downturn. Loans are structured so that they can be fully canceled if the recipient attempts to maintain similar employment levels and uses at least 60% of the loan to cover salary costs. The remaining 40% can be spent on rent, utility costs, and other operating expenses.

Biden’s US bailout, promulgated this month, provided for an additional $ 7.25 billion for the program, but at the time it did not extend the timeframe for obtaining the loans.

Although first approved under the CARES Act last year, data released at the end of December showed that many desperate minority homeowners seeking relief loans did not receive one. than in the last few weeks of the P3, while many other white business owners were able to get loans earlier. in the program.

In mid-February, the Biden administration made changes to the program in an attempt to offer more federal assistance to “mom-and-pop” stores. The renewed program established a temporary two-week window in which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees could apply for forgivable loans.

The Small Business Administration reports that it has approved nearly 7.9 million loans totaling about $ 704 billion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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