On Tuesday, following a deal between Democrats and Republicans, the Senate voted to pass a new $484 billion COVID-19 response bill, which includes an additional $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In the face of enormous demand, the PPP, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) forgivable loan program for businesses and nonprofits with under 500 employees had exhausted its nearly $400 billion in initial funding late last week. One fifth of the new funding for PPP will be set aside for smaller lenders, including small credit unions, community financial institutions, and minority depositories; this provision is an effort to support small business and nonprofits that do not have relationships with major banks.
The bill passed on Tuesday also includes $50 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and $10 billion for Economic Injury Disaster grants, and makes farms and other agricultural enterprises eligible for these funds. Finally, the bill appropriates an additional $100 billion to support hospitals and expand COVID-19 testing.
The bill passed by a voice vote, avoiding the necessity of the full Senate convening during a pandemic. The legislation is widely expected to be voted on by the House on Thursday, and signed into law by the President this week.
Eligible organizations that previously applied under the SBA programs but were not awarded funding are expected to be first in line to receive new funds. Given enormous demand for emergency funding, America Forward Coalition members eligible for funding that haven’t yet applied should submit applications as soon as possible.
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