Small Business Loan Program Extension Gets Senate Approval | Business

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WASHINGTON – The Senate passed a 92-7 bill on Thursday to extend the deadline for business owners to apply for forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, giving applicants two more months to apply federal assistance.

The bill had already been passed in the House, so it is now going to President Joe Biden’s office for proclamation. Congress launched the loan program last year to help businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deadline for applications will be extended until May 31 under the bill, and the federal government would have until June 30 to process applications.

The COVID-19 relief bill that Biden enacted this month included an additional $ 7.25 billion for the program, but it did not extend the timeline for obtaining loans. Business groups have lobbied lawmakers to keep the program working to ensure that businesses that still need help can get it.

The Small Business Administration reports that it has approved nearly 7.9 million loans totaling about $ 704 billion.

As of March 21, Louisiana had 50,404 loans approved for a total of $ 3 billion in the last cycle. When the first-round program ended in August, Louisiana had 78,866 loans totaling $ 7.4 billion.

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The loans are structured so that they can be fully canceled if the recipient attempts to maintain similar employment levels and uses at least 60% of the loan to cover salary costs. The remaining 40% can be spent on rent, utility costs and other operational expenses.

“This bipartisan legislation comes at a time when small business owners are still grappling with the economic effects of the pandemic, and extending the paycheck protection program even for a short time to deplete existing funds,” will help some of the small businesses that need it most, ”said Neil Bradley, executive vice president and director of policy at the US Chamber of Commerce.

The PPP loan “was a godsend” for these Baton Rouge businesses. Will they apply for the second round?

These industries have secured significant “paycheck protection” funds in Louisiana; see the list

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