WASHINGTON — Tuesday evening, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, along with the committee’s ranking member Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) successfully passed legislation to extend the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) authority to approve Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through August 8, 2020.PPP closed for loan approvals on Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. Now the House of Representatives can swiftly reopen the program by passing the bill and sending it to the President for enactment.

“The PPP program has been a literal lifeline for millions of small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and instead of letting it expire tonight, the Senate has come together to unanimously pass our bill to extend it and continue providing desperately-needed aid to small businesses,” said Senator Coons. “I talk to Delaware business owners every day, and I’ve heard from them directly: they need more help, and they need the PPP program to remain active.  I’m glad we were able to pass this bill tonight, and I’m going to keep working to provide small businesses in need with a second round of federal support to keep their doors open and their employees on payroll.”

“When Congress passed the CARES Act in March, we thought that small businesses would be operational by the end of June, but it is now clear that our nation’s small businesses will still need support in the weeks and months to come,” Senator Cardin said. “I am pleased that the Senate acted responsibly to keep PPP open for small businesses while Congress continues bipartisan negotiations on the next economic relief legislation.”

“Thanks to Senate Democrats, the PPP program has been improved to provide a lifeline to more small businesses struggling to stay afloat during these turbulent times. And tonight, Senate Democrats have ensured that small businesses can continue to have the opportunity to apply for these loans that can mean the difference between staying open and closing for good,” said Leader Schumer. “It’s time for Senate Republicans to work with us to do more for small business and for many other parts of our economy and our health care system that are struggling and suffering due to COVID-19.  We need bipartisanship like we saw tonight in these areas as well.”

“The PPP has been a lifeline for the nation’s small businesses and I’m very glad we’ve been able to extend this program while we continue our bipartisan discussions to provide substantial new relief,” said Senator Shaheen. “We know small businesses will need additional assistance to get through the next phase of recovery and help can’t come soon enough, especially for restaurants, lodging businesses, recreational camps, and minority-owned businesses. Bipartisan negotiations are making progress and I’m optimistic we can reach further agreement that will keep small businesses afloat and workers on the job.”

“The Paycheck Protection Program has helped countless Nevada small businesses stay afloat during the economic downturn caused by this global pandemic,” said Senator Rosen. “My office has helped hundreds of small businesses navigate loan options, including PPP. This bipartisan legislation extends the application deadline for PPP loans to August 8th. While I am relieved that we took steps tonight to extend PPP for Nevada’s small businesses, I urge Senate leaders to bring a comprehensive, bipartisan COVID relief package to the floor that fully supports all of our small businesses in Nevada, including our tourism economy. I am proud to represent Nevada on the Senate Small Business Committee and will continue fighting for our small business community every step of the way.”

In the weeks ahead, senators will continue bipartisan negotiations on thePrioritized Paycheck Protection Program (P4) Act—legislation Cardin, Shaheen, and Coons introduced to authorize new lending under PPP to small businesses with 100 employees or less, including sole proprietorships and self-employed individuals. Eligible businesses must have already expended an initial PPP loan, or be on pace to exhaust the funding, and must demonstrate a revenue loss of 50 percent or more due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would extend the application deadline for initial PPP loans from June 30 to December 30, or longer, at the discretion of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and would use existing PPP funding to make P4 loans.

To ensure that underserved and hardest-hit businesses can access P4 loans, publicly traded companies are ineligible for the loans; hospitality and lodging businesses with multiple locations are limited to an aggregate loan amount of $2 million; and the bill would reserve the lesser of $25 billion or 20 percent of PPP funds for employers with 10 or fewer employees, as well as small businesses in underserved and rural communities. The bill also directs SBA to issue guidance to give priority to businesses with 10 employees or fewer in the processing and disbursement of P4 and PPP loans, and requires SBA to request demographic information of P4 and PPP loan recipients. 

Additionally, the P4 Act would:

  • provide eligible small businesses with as much as 250 percent of monthly payroll costs worth up to $2 million;  
  • prevent affiliated businesses with separate locations from receiving more than $2 million in aggregate P4 loans; and
  • allow P4 recipients maximum flexibility to apply for loan forgiveness as soon as 8 weeks after the loan disbursement.

The P4 Act is endorsed by Small Business Majority, Page 30 Coalition, Association of Women’s Business Centers, Association for Enterprise Opportunity, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., Small Business Roundtable, America's SBD, National Restaurant Association, Third Way, American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the International Franchise Association.