WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate has passed legislation that provides $484 billion in COVID-19-related relief measures, including $310 billion for the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was depleted just two weeks after it was established.
The federal PPP effort, designed to save jobs by providing forgivable business loans to companies that keep their employees working, ran out of money April 17 after being swamped with requests in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
That initial round of funding quickly exhausted its cash, and a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) indicated only one in five applicants had been successful in receiving funding during that initial round of $349 billion.
The bipartisan legislation that the Senate passed April 21 ensures that $60 billion of the PPP funding will be reserved for smaller lending institutions, such as credit unions, community banks, Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions that traditionally serve "underbanked and underserved" businesses, according to information from the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.
The bill also provides $50 billion for the Small Business Administration's economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) program, which will allow the agency to make more than $350 billion in direct, low-interest, long-term disaster loans, and an additional $10 billion for the EIDL grants program, which will provide small businesses with a quick infusion of capital worth up to $10,000 each.
The House is expected to hear the bill April 23. If passed, it would move to President Donald Trump's desk for his signature.