The House passed a bill this week extending the deadline for applying for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to May 31, and the Senate is expected to take up the legislation as soon as tomorrow.
The popular PPP, created by Congress last year and recently expanded to include most 501(c) nonprofit groups, offers forgivable loans to businesses and nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the legislation, which passed the House by a vote of 415-3, PPP applicants have until May 31 to apply for a loan and the Small Business Administration (SBA) has a June 30 deadline to process them. Business groups have called for an extension of the current March 31 deadline to give businesses more time to apply.
“Based on recent economic data and the demand for PPP loans, it’s clear that small businesses still need support,” said House Small Business Committee Chair Nydia Velazquez (D-NY). “We are making progress in our public health fight against this virus, but this pandemic continues to impact communities across the country and we can’t let up on our efforts. By providing small businesses with two more months to apply and giving the SBA an additional month to process applications, we will help ensure critical support isn’t cut off.”
The SBA has approved nearly 7.6 million PPP loans worth more than $687 billion as of March 7. About $92.5 billion remains to be lent after Congress approved an additional $7.25 billion for the program in the latest $1.9 trillion stimulus package that President Biden signed into law last week.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that, given the looming March 31 expiration, the Senate will take up the bill to extend the PPP “as quickly as possible.” The bill has been added to the Senate calendar and will be fast-tracked by seeking unanimous consent.