Small businesses now have another two months to apply for forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program after yet another government pandemic relief measure was extended just before its expiration.
The application deadline for the loans is now May 31, rather than March 31, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) will now have until June 30 to finish processing the loans, the White House said after President Joe Biden signed the PPP Extension Act of 2021 Tuesday. Biden said 90,000 businesses are still in line for these loans, and there’s still money on the table.
“Without somebody signing this bill today, there are hundreds of thousands of people who could lose their jobs, and small and family businesses that might close forever,” Biden said at the bill signing ceremony.
The PPP, created last year by the CARES Act relief bill, is designed to help businesses keep their workforces employed during the pandemic. Businesses can apply for loans through the Small Business Administration and use the money to pay for payroll, rent, and other expenses as long as they meet specific requirements. Of the $806 billion Congress has appropriated to the program, there is still $72 billion left as of March 28, according to an independent analysis by the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank.