Congress to Extend PPP Application Deadline |
As the March 31 deadline approaches to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, federal lawmakers are acting in a bipartisan fashion to give small businesses more time to submit their applications.
With more than $ 110 billion in funding still available, the United States House voted overwhelmingly on March 16 to extend the deadline to May 31.
The US Senate is expected to consider the bill, which also gives the US Small Business Administration and the private sector the SBA until June 30 to process requests.
The SBA has approved 27,295 Connecticut business PPP loan applications totaling more than $ 2.2 billion through early March.
But with just two weeks to apply for a loan and many applications still pending, lawmakers fear the program is not reaching as many small businesses as it could.
Lifeline in the event of a pandemic
The first round of PPP loans was part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act Congress approved in March of last year to help small businesses devastated by the pandemic.
The first round has helped more than 63,000 Connecticut businesses access more than $ 6.7 billion in loans.
The second relief bill Congress approved in December setting aside an additional $ 284 billion to help small businesses affected by the pandemic.
The US $ 1.9 trillion bailout act, enacted on March 11, provides an additional $ 7 billion for the PPP to expand its eligibility and includes other forms of economic aid and assistance to small businesses.
Companies with 500 workers or less were eligible for the first route of PPP loans.
The second round is for companies that typically have 300 or fewer employees and have experienced a reduction of at least 25% in gross revenue due to the pandemic.
Companies that have benefited from a PPP loan in the first round are eligible for a second round loan.
Although the loans are low interest, they are canceled if at least 60% of the funds are used for salary costs.
The remaining 40% can be spent on mortgage interest or rent, utilities, operational costs such as business software, uninsured property damage due to civil unrest, supplier costs and essential goods, and personal protective equipment for employees.
Small businesses can apply for a PPP loan by banks and other lenders who certify the loans the SBA underwrites.