Congress appropriates more funds for small business relief

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Updated May 2, 2020

Congressional leaders have announced a second aid package for small businesses and hospitals ravaged by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The new $484 billion package was quickly assembled this week after news last week that the nearly $350 billion fund for small business relief within last month’s CARES Act had already run dry; well before millions of American small businesses were able to apply for and receive federal funding.

The aptly named Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which President Trump is expected to formally sign into law at any moment, will route more than $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program introduced in the CARES Act — including $60 billion of that larger number being set aside to be used exclusively for smaller lenders and for businesses who have struggled in recent months to acquire government funding. (Nearly 75 percent of TPS readers and more than 70 percent of owner-operators and small fleet readers of TPS sister publication Overdrive admitted in a reader survey this week they have yet to gain access to government coronavirus assistance.)

The new law also allocates more than $60 billion to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Relief Fund, $75 billion to hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing — the latter to be split between states and the Federal government.

President Trump was vocal in his support of the agreement Tuesday, tweeting encouragement before it had even passed through Congress.

Under the terms in the CARES Act and this supporting measure, small businesses are defined as operations with 500 or fewer employees, though it is possible for companies with greater than 500 employees to qualify if they are below SBA’s size standards for certain industries. Businesses must apply for financial relief through a local lender participating in the SBA’s 7(a) loan program.

For more information about the SBA’s available funding options, and to submit an application for a business loan, please CLICK HERE.

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