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Senate extends pandemic aid for small businesses by 2 months

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The Senate voted Thursday to extend the Small Business Administration’s paycheck protection program just a week before it expires.

Senators voted 92-7 to pass the PPP Extension Act of 2021, which extends the program until May 31 instead of the current March 31 deadline and gives the SBA an additional 30 days to process loans.

Then the bill will be sent to President Joe Biden for promulgation. The White House has indicated its support for expanding the program to support small businesses.

The vote comes about a week after the House of Representatives passed the PPP extension law of 2021 and sent the legislation to the Senate. A companion to the House bill had previously been introduced by a bipartisan group comprising the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ben Cardin, D-Md .; Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Senator Jeanne Shaheen, DN.H.

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The program, which was established by the CARES Act to provide repayable financing to small businesses, reopened in January with funding of $ 284 billion. As of March 21, the SBA had granted more than 3.1 million loans with a total value of nearly $ 196 billion.

Calls to extend the PPP deadline have increased since the Biden administration announced changes to the program in February just weeks before it ended. These changes included a 14-day priority application window for businesses with less than 20 employees, updated eligibility rules for forgivable loans, and a new calculation formula for sole proprietors.

While the updates were planned to secure more funding for smaller businesses, many of which are minority or female-owned, the timeline has created confusion for many. Particularly frustrated were individual homeowners, who would get more money under the new formula, especially those who missed larger loans by a few days.

Additionally, the $ 1.9 trillion US bailout package, which President Joe Biden enacted in March, has given more funding to the SBA. The bill included $ 7 billion to expand the P3 as well as other provisions to help small businesses.

Are you a small business that recently got a first PPP loan and is trying to get a second PPP loan? Email [email protected] to share your story.

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