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Senate passes Coons bill to extend PPP loan application deadline

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, along with the committee’s ranking member Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland; Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York; and Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire; Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada; Susan Collins, R-Maine, successfully passed legislation to extend the U.S. Small Business Administration’s authority to approve Paycheck Protection Program loans through Aug. 8.

PPP closed for loan approvals at 11:59 p.m. June 30. Now the House of Representatives can swiftly reopen the program by passing the bill and sending it to the president for enactment.

“The PPP program has been a literal lifeline for millions of small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and instead of letting it expire tonight, the Senate has come together to unanimously pass our bill to extend it and continue providing desperately-needed aid to small businesses,” said Coons. “I talk to Delaware business owners every day, and I’ve heard from them directly: they need more help, and they need the PPP program to remain active. I’m glad we were able to pass this bill tonight, and I’m going to keep working to provide small businesses in need with a second round of federal support to keep their doors open and their employees on payroll.”

In the weeks ahead, senators will continue bipartisan negotiations on the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act — legislation Cardin, Shaheen and Coons introduced to authorize new lending under PPP to small businesses with 100 employees or less, including sole proprietorships and self-employed individuals. Eligible businesses must have already expended an initial PPP loan, or be on pace to exhaust the funding, and must demonstrate a revenue loss of 50% or more due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would extend the application deadline for initial PPP loans from June 30 to Dec. 30, or longer, at the discretion of the Small Business Administration, and would use existing PPP funding to make P4 loans.

To ensure that underserved and hardest-hit businesses can access P4 loans, publicly traded companies are ineligible for the loans, hospitality and lodging businesses with multiple locations are limited to an aggregate loan amount of $2 million and the bill would reserve the lesser of $25 billion or 20% of PPP funds for employers with 10 or fewer employees, as well as small businesses in underserved and rural communities. The bill also directs SBA to issue guidance to give priority to businesses with 10 employees or fewer in the processing and disbursement of P4 and PPP loans, and requires SBA to request demographic information of P4 and PPP loan recipients.

Additionally, the P4 Act would provide eligible small businesses with as much as 250% of monthly payroll costs worth up to $2 million, prevent affiliated businesses with separate locations from receiving more than $2 million in aggregate P4 loans and allow P4 recipients maximum flexibility to apply for loan forgiveness as soon as 8 weeks after the loan disbursement.

The P4 Act is endorsed by Small Business Majority, Page 30 Coalition, Association of Women’s Business Centers, Association for Enterprise Opportunity, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., Small Business Roundtable, America's SBD, National Restaurant Association, Third Way, American Hotel and Lodging Association and the International Franchise Association.