The $2 trillion CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, allocated $350 billion in forgivable loans to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – a program intended to provide economic relief to America’s small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.[1]

Since then, the Small Business Administration has approved more than 1.6 million loans under the PPP. But the program’s funds were quickly depleted, leaving hundreds of thousands of small businesses in limbo. The application process was also plagued by issues: some small business owners could not find banks to accept their applications (as banks prioritized existing customers) and money was allocated to not-so-small businesses including major restaurant chains, hedge funds, and Ivy League colleges.

As a result, “after two weeks of negotiations between Republicans, who wanted to press additional small business funding forward without much reevaluation, and Democrats, who were eventually able to secure additional relief measures[,]” the Senate unanimously passed another relief bill on Tuesday evening.[2]

The latest bill is worth $484 billion and includes an additional $310 billion for the PPP (“with $60 billion of that money reserved for small businesses without existing banking relationships”), $75 billion for hospitals, and $25 billion for coronavirus testing.[3]

The bill will now move to the House, where it is expected to pass on Thursday.

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[1] Read more on the CARES Act: https://www.covid19-blog.com/2020/04/small-business-relief-under-the-cares-act-bankruptcy-protections-and-the-paycheck-protection-program/.

[2] Taylor Hatmaker, Senate passes new $484 billion relief bill to replenish small business loans, fund hospitals and testing (Apr. 21, 2020), https://techcrunch.com/2020/04/21/when-will-the-ppp-get-more-funding-coronavirus/.

[3] Sarah Hansen, Senate Passes $484 Billion Interim Relief Package. Here’s What’s In It—And What’s Missing (Apr. 21, 2020), https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahhansen/2020/04/21/senate-passes-484-billion-interim-relief-package-heres-whats-in-it-and-whats-missing/#ca16df13e34e.