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Capitol Correspondence - 06.02.20

House Passes Bill Making COVID-19 Emergency Loans More Flexible

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ASAE, the association for associations of which ANCOR is a member, has been advocating for more flexibility within the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a loan program meant to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, administered by the Small Business Association. Aside from high demand for funds which made it hard for ANCOR members to compete for funding, those who received funding expressed challenges with meeting loan requirements. The ASAE article below reports on legislation to ease program requirements that would address some of these challenges. The legislation passed the House but has yet to go through the Senate.

“The House voted 417-1 today to pass legislation that will make urgently needed changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), created to assist small businesses struggling during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, introduced by Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Dean Phillips (D-MN), is designed to make PPP loans more accessible by making its terms of use more flexible. Importantly, the bill does not expand eligibility for the PPP to include 501(c) associations as the House-passed HEROES Act does.

The legislation would give small businesses more time to use loans under the PPP by extending the eight-week period in which they must use the money to qualify for loan forgiveness to 24 weeks. The bill also gives PPP recipients more flexibility by changing the 75/25 rule which requires fund recipients to use 75 percent of the money for payroll costs in order to be eligible for loan forgiveness. The new ratio would be at least 60 percent on payroll and no more than 40 percent on other expenses.

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There are two similar bills focused on quick fixes for the PPP circulating in the Senate. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Angus King (I-ME) and Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced a companion bill to the Roy-Phillips bill last Friday, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, also introduced a bill last week that would give businesses up to 16 weeks to use the loans instead of eight weeks. No votes have been scheduled as yet for either bill in the Senate.”