The Senate on Thursday voted 92-7 to extend the wildly popular Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans for payroll and overhead expenses to help see struggling small businesses through the pandemic.
The PPP’s first round of funding authorized by the CARES Act last March was depleted just two weeks after a chaotic launch period and an overwhelming crush of applications. Congress immediately followed the CARES Act with a $484 billion bill to replenish the PPP, which has now been extended or re-funded by Congress several times. In its early days, the program was criticized for favoring larger businesses—and sometimes public companies—over smaller mom and pop shops that lacked the strong banking relationships that were necessary to navigate the application process. The Biden administration made changes to the program last month to prevent large firms from crowding out loans for small and minority borrowers.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The extension bill will now be sent to President Biden’s desk for signature.