PPP replenishment bill provides another $322 billion to small businesses. Graphic by Adolfo Pesquera.
by Adolfo Pesquera
With Tuesday’s passage of the Paycheck Protection Program replenishment bill in the Senate, struggling small businesses must now await a House vote and the president’s signature–actions that are expected to take place this week.
The Senate passed by voice vote on Tuesday afternoon, a $484 billion bill–H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
Efforts to replenish the fund were initially delayed over House concerns that many small businesses were cut out of the original $349 billion PPP bill because they couldn’t compete with larger businesses that had existing relationships with the national banks.
A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of small businesses alleging that a number of large banks prioritized larger loan requests ahead of smaller businesses in order to collect larger processing fees.
A survey from the National Federation of Independent Business found that only about 20% of small businesses applying had money deposited as of April 17; the first tranche of PPP funding was depleted April 16. See NFIB Survey here.
According to NFI, the bill “contains much needed funding for the PPP and EIDL loan and grant programs and ensures that some of the funds will go through local community banks.”
The negotiated bill that finally passed included a larger fund for small businesses, and aid to hospitals and organizations tasked with expanding testing for the coronavirus.
- $322 billion will go to replenish the PPP. Of that $322 billion, $60 billion will go to community banks and credit unions that serve small businesses in underserved areas through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The NFIB found that only 10% of the 40% of small businesses applying for EIDL loans received money.
- $75 billion will go to hospitals.
- $25 billion will go to expand COVID-19 testing.
While the replenishment funds will reactivate the Paycheck Protection Program, which is managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, banks are warning that the amount approved will not meet the demand, which they estimate to be closer to $1 trillion.
The House vote could take place as early as Thursday. President Trump wants to sign the bill into law before the end of the week.
One major issue that was not resolved concerns funding to state and local governments that have been hard hit by revenue losses. These government agencies employ 7.4 million full-time workers and they comprise the vast majority of first responders, but they depend on sales tax revenues that have dried up due to the stay-at-home orders that have frozen the economy.