The U.S. stimulus package, which includes direct payments, unemployment boosts and more, has dominated headlines recently as Americans celebrate the long-awaited relief. However, while the law includes more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), it doesn’t extend the program, which expires March 31. To address the issue, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed legislation to extend the program into this summer. The bill has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and next will head to the Senate. Here’s what you need to know.
What Happens Next?
The House of Representatives passed a bill to extend the PPP. Now that the bill has passed the House, it will go to the Senate. It is expected to pass there, and hopefully will become law before the program expires March 31.
How Long Would the Bill Extend the PPP?
The bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives today, written by a bipartisan group of lawmakers from California, New York, Georgia, and Missouri, would extend the program until May 31. It would also allow the SBA to continue processing any applications still pending for another 30 days after that. “The demand for PPP loans right now is a testament to the program’s effectiveness and the lingering impacts of this pandemic. That’s why we cannot cut off aid now and this short-term extension is so important,” said Nydia Velasquez, the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Small Business.
How Much Money is Left in the PPP?
Lawmakers are pushing to extend the program partially because it has billions of dollars remaining in funding, and the SBA won’t be able to distribute all the remaining funds before the end of March. So far, the SBA has distributed only about half of the $284 billion allotted to the program for this round of loans, and the American Rescue Plan includes another $7.25 billion in funding. Extending the application period will give the SBA the time that they need to actually distribute funds to small business owners around the U.S.
Who Supports the Proposal?
Business owners, legislators and economic experts all support extending the Paycheck Protection Program application window. 10 banks wrote a letter to Congress asking them to extend the program, as did the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The U.S. The Chamber of Commerce has asked for the PPP to be extended until the end of 2021.
Conclusion: The PPP Will Likely Be Open Until This Summer
Small business owners around the U.S. are scrambling to get their applications in for the Paycheck Protection Program before the March 31 deadline. The SBA won’t have time to distribute the tens of billions of dollars remaining in the program's “pot” before the deadline, but lawmakers will likely pass a bill to allow the program to remain open for several more months. If you haven’t applied for a PPP loan yet or would like to apply with a second lender, it’s not too late!
You can consider applying with a second or third lender. Here are two options: First, we recommend Funding Circle since they are having faster approvals, then we recommend Bluevine.You can keep up with the latest news on the PPP and other U.S. funding programs with the Skip App (free on the App Store or Google Play).