Note: This story was updated April 24 to reflect further Congressional approval.
More assistance to help small businesses overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is on the way after the U.S. Congress approved another round of stimulus funding.
The U.S. Senate on April 21 approved a bill to earmark another $484 billion for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The U.S. Senate approved the bill on April 23.
The bill injects another $310 billion into the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Of that, $60 billion is reserved to assist small and mid-sized banks, credit unions and community development finance institutions with PPP lending.
The bill also allocates $75 billion in funding for the health care industry and $25 billion to boost COVID-19 testing capacity across the country.
Another $50 billion will be used to support the SBA’s disaster loans along with $10 billion for small business grants. Roughly $10 billion will be used for administrative costs and other coronavirus relief efforts.
Congress already has approved more than $2 trillion for the CARES Act, a measure that took effect March 27.
The $349 billion initially allocated for PPP loans under CARES was exhausted less than two weeks after small business owners began applying for a forgivable loan.
Banking industry groups say the additional PPP funding will help fulfill loan applications already in the system but may not leave much — if any — funds for new applicants, according to a CBS News report.
PPP loans were made available to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and people who are self-employed. Private nonprofit and veterans’ organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic also were allowed to apply.
Employers that meet that criteria were able to apply for PPP loans up to two and a half times their monthly payroll costs, up to $10 million.
Loans are forgivable if borrowers meet certain criteria, such as using 75 percent of the loan amount for payroll costs and maintaining employee counts.
In Kansas, 26,245 PPP loans were issued totaling nearly $4.3 billion, according to SBA data through April 16.
Learn more about the SBA’s coronavirus relief options online.
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