Today the United State’s Senate voted in favor of the passage of HR 1799, a bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program loans to May 31, 2021.

The PPP Extension Act of 2021 would allow more small businesses to access these grant funds as many are still feeling the impact of COVID-19.

The National Federation of Independent Business was in favor of the legislation and reported to lawmakers that 13% of small business owners said they would be forced to close their doors if economic conditions did not improve. While this number was down from 25% in December, it still represents a large part of the small business community.

“Small business owners are continuing to evaluate their financial needs and our research indicates that economic conditions remain challenging for them. This extension is great news for owners who might like to take advantage of the extra time to apply if they believe it’s right for their business,” said Dawn Starns McVea, NFIB State Director.

The bill was passed 92-7 in the Senate. Had this bill not moved forward, the Small Business Administration program would have expired on March 31, 2021. The bill also allows the SBA an additional 30 days to process loans even after the May 31 deadline.

The bill was authored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and several others who moved the legislation through the House with bipartisan support.

“As jobless claims fall to their lowest since the beginning of the pandemic and unemployment claims dip substantially, it is clear that all states must safely reopen their economies,” said Ranking Member Luetkemeyer.”The PPP Extension Act provides small businesses who need it most with targeted assistance in order to open their doors and give their employees a paycheck once again.”

The original PPP loans were created in part by the CARES Act of 2020. It allowed for companies who employee 500 individuals or less to apply for loans up to $10 million to cover pandemic related costs. The application process went through local and national banks as well as other lenders. The program required that 60% of the amount approved went to payroll costs.

Since its creation the SBA has approved 8.2 million loans, roughly $718 billion dollars. There is more than $50 billion remaining.

If you area Mississippian and in need of PPP assistance, you can apply HERE.