WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) that gives more flexibility to small business and nonprofits that have signed up for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Sen. Mazie Hirono said in a statement, “I’ve heard about how essential the PPP program has been for our local business community, and how the changes Congress was considering would provide additional flexibility in a challenging time. While I had hoped Congress could have passed these changes much sooner as businesses are starting to reach the end of the forgiveness period for the first PPP loans, today’s bipartisan effort improves the PPP program and demonstrates what we can accomplish when we work together. I will continue advocating for programs that support small businesses in Hawaii and across the country during this public health and economic crisis.”
The House passed the PPPFA on May 28. The Senate and House have agreed to the final version and sent PPPFA to the president for signing.
Some of the changes include:
*more flexibility to use PPP loans to cover non-payroll costs like rent and utilities
*loan forgiveness period has increased from 8 to 24 weeks
*the rehiring deadline is extended from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2020
*increases the percentage of loans that must be put toward payroll from 75 percent to 60 percent, allowing small businesses to use the forgivable loans for other expenses.
Since March, Congress has provided $660 billion for PPP.
Close to $2.5 billion, 23,416 loans have been approved for Hawaii business and nonprofits. Nationally, 4.4 million loans have been approved ($510.2 billion).
PPP is administered through the Small Business Administration (SBA). It has served as a lifeline for businesses impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.