The House of Representatives has passed the $484 billion coronavirus relief package, marking the government’s latest effort to support the pandemic-plagued United States economy.
The measure, which passed in the Senate on Tuesday expands funding for small businesses, through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. It also provides financial aid for hospitals, but also provides more money for coronavirus testing.
It now heads to the desk of President Donald Trump, who has already signed a massive $2 trillion rescue package — the largest in modern U.S. history — as well as the first two coronavirus bailout plans worth a respective $192 billion and $8 billion.
In late March, the federal government had allotted $349 billion in emergency loans for small businesses that have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic as part of the aforementioned CARES Act — but last Thursday, the SBA announced that the PPP’s funds had been used up.
According to the National Retail Federation, nearly 200,000 small retailers had taken part in the PPP, receiving an average loan of $155,000 each for a total of $29 billion.
“This funding,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said of the most recent Congress-passed bill, “will let them keep their workers on the payroll and help the economy avoid the ripple effects that will come if additional businesses cease to operate and more people lose their jobs.”
Today, the Small Business Administration issued new guidelines surrounding loan assistance under the PPP — ensuring that the emergency funds were not meant for companies that had access to capital markets.
“Although the CARES Act suspends the ordinary requirement that borrowers must be unable to obtain credit elsewhere, borrowers still must certify in good faith that their PPP loan request is necessary,” the SBA wrote on its site. “For example, it is unlikely that a public company with substantial market value and access to capital markets will be able to make the required certification in good faith, and such a company should be prepared to demonstrate to SBA, upon request, the basis for its certification.”