WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lifeline for small businesses might be getting a bit longer.
The U.S. Senate has passed an extension of the PPP program through Aug. 8 to allow small businesses to still apply for funding. The idea to extend the deadline past June 30 still must clear the House. There's a reported $130 billion remaining in PPP coffers.
PPP was created earlier this year as part of a federal economic stimulus package in response to the chaos created by COVID-19. The program gives companies forgivable loans if they spend money on employee salaries and other business-associated costs.
"The Paycheck Protection Program provided a critical lifeline to more than 4.8 million small businesses," U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, said.
"As the scope of the financial damage done to small businesses by the pandemic and resulting lockdowns has grown, it has become clear that longer-term support is necessary."
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., a ranking member of the same committe, added: "When Congress passed the CARES Act in March, we thought that small businesses would be operational by the end of June, but it is now clear that our nation's small businesses will still need support in the weeks and months to come.
"I am pleased that the Senate acted responsibly to keep PPP open for small businesses while Congress continues bipartisan negotiations on the next economic relief legislation."