Bipartisan House members reach deal to extend loan program for small businesses

Bipartisan House members reach deal to extend loan program for small businesses
© Greg Nash

Bipartisan House lawmakers announced a deal Thursday to extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for two months, ensuring that funds can still flow to small businesses following a March 31 expiration date on the program. 

The agreement was negotiated by House Small Business Committee Chair Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Blaine LuetkemeyerWilliam (Blaine) Blaine LuetkemeyerSmall business group to launch bus tour opposing Biden agenda Missouri Republicans move to block Greitens in key Senate race Democratic Kansas City, Mo., mayor eyes Senate run MORE (Mo.), the committee's top Republican, as well as Reps. Carolyn BourdeauxCarolyn BourdeauxConservative group targeting House Democrats over SALT positions Democrats unite to send infrastructure bill to Biden's desk Conservative group targeting moderate Democrats on spending bill votes MORE (D-Ga.) and Young KimYoung KimHillicon Valley — Facebook shutters its facial recognition system House passes bills to shore up small business cybersecurity Lawmakers say innovation, trade rules key to small business gains MORE (R-Calif.). The new bill, dubbed the PPP Extension Act, would delay the program’s loan application deadline to May 31 and allows the Small Business Administration to process applications for 30 more days beyond that point. 

“The demand for PPP loans right now is a testament to the program’s effectiveness and the lingering impacts of this pandemic,” said Velázquez. “That’s why we cannot cut off aid now and this short-term extension is so important.”

“As America begins to open up for business and vaccines become more widely distributed across the country, we must provide targeted relief for small businesses that need it most. This bipartisan legislation will provide a commonsense extension to the Paycheck Protection Program and the tools for Main Street USA to contribute to their local economies once again,” added Luetkemeyer. 

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The House will vote on the bill next week, according to Politico, which first reported on the agreement.

The extension will likely quell some concerns that PPP funds could run dry, particularly as the approval time for applications lengthened due to more stringent fraud reviews.

The PPP has offered more than $687 billion in pandemic relief. The loans provided to small businesses can be forgiven if employers maintain their payrolls, making the program one of the most popular aspects of last year’s $2.2 trillion CARES Act.