Update: This story has been updated to reflect that the U.S. Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which aims to provide greater support to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As School Bus Fleet previously reported, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act is designed to create more flexibility for small businesses by:
• Extending the expense forgiveness period from eight weeks to twenty-four weeks.
• Reducing the 75% payroll ratio requirement.
• Eliminating two-year loan repayment restrictions for future borrowers.
• Allowing payroll tax deferment for PPP recipients.
• Extending the June 30 rehiring deadline.
The bill, co-authored by Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), passed the House on May 28 in a bipartisan vote of 417-1, according to the U.S. Congress website. It passed the Senate on Wednesday.
“At its core, representation begins with listening,” Phillips said in a speech on the House floor, according to a news release from his office. “Our small business owners, the institutions of our main streets and the glue of our communities, are asking us to take actions to solve problems and engage in some good old-fashioned teamwork … This bill will help people in the ways that they need, and we haven’t a moment to lose.”
“For the past two months, I’ve heard from business owners in Central Texas who want to keep their employees on the payroll, continue serving their communities, and — mostly — stay afloat until they are allowed to be fully back open for business,” Roy said in a news release from his office. “The Paycheck Protection Program has helped many of them do just that, but I have heard from far too many business owners that the program, as it stood, needed changes to make it work for them. … Fortunately, our bipartisan bill puts Americans first and will ensure our favorite small business are around on the other side.”
The PPP is part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law by President Trump on March 27 to mitigate the economic damage wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.