Senate Votes To Extend Paycheck Protection Program Until May 31


The Senate on Thursday voted 92-7 to extend the wildly popular Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans for payroll and overhead expenses to help see struggling small businesses through the pandemic.

Key Facts

The bill would extend the PPP application deadline by by two months, from March 31 to May 31. 

It would also give the Small Business Administration until June 30 (an extra 30 days) to process backlogged applications for PPP loans. 

The House voted 415-3 to approve the extension last week.

Big Number

8.2 million. That’s how many small businesses have received PPP loans, according to Small Business Administration data as of March 21. Those loans are worth a cumulative $718 billion.

Crucial Quote

“These loans have saved small businesses throughout our nation,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said on the Senate floor on Wednesday. “They would not be here today but for this program.” 

Key Background

The PPP’s first round of funding authorized by the CARES Act last March was depleted just two weeks after a chaotic launch period and an overwhelming crush of applications. Congress immediately followed the CARES Act with a $484 billion bill to replenish the PPP, which has now been extended or re-funded by Congress several times. In its early days, the program was criticized for favoring larger businesses—and sometimes public companies—over smaller mom and pop shops that lacked the strong banking relationships that were necessary to navigate the application. The Biden administration made changes to the program last month to prevent large firms from crowding out small and minority applicants.

What To Watch For

The extension bill will now be sent to President Biden’s desk for signature. 

Further Reading

Covid-19 Recession: 10 Important Numbers That Sum Up America’s Economic Crisis One Year Later (Forbes)

White House Announces PPP Changes Aimed At Smallest Businesses (Forbes)

The PPP Is Back Online Today—Here’s What You Need To Know (Forbes)

Warren Buffett On Stimulus Gridlock: ‘Just Renew The PPP And Get Us To The End Of The Tunnel’ (Forbes)

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