WASHINGTON—The federal Paycheck Protection Program lifeline for small businesses remains open for business after Congress passed a five-week extension.
The extension runs through Aug. 8, allowing small businesses an opportunity to apply for funding. President Trump signed the measure July 4 after both the Senate and House approved the extension. The program previously was set to end June 30.
The PPP was created earlier this year as part of a federal economic stimulus package in response to the chaos created by COVID-19. The program gives companies forgivable loans if they spend money on employee salaries and other business-associated costs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration reported that $132.1 billion remained in the program as of July 10.
"The (PPP) provided a critical lifeline to more than 4.8 million small businesses," said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
"As the scope of the financial damage done to small businesses by the pandemic and resulting lockdowns has grown, it has become clear that longer-term support is necessary."
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., a ranking member of the same committee, added: "When Congress passed the CARES Act in March, we thought that small businesses would be operational by the end of June, but it is now clear that our nation's small businesses will still need support in the weeks and months to come.
"I am pleased that the Senate acted responsibly to keep PPP open for small businesses while Congress continues bipartisan negotiations on the next economic relief legislation."