It has been about a month since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act was passed, yet the allocated funds, particularly for small business forgivable loans, were quickly exhausted. To that end, Congress drafted the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement (“PPPHCE”) Act, which passed in the Senate on April 21st, and is scheduled for a House vote tomorrow, Thursday, April 23rd.
The PPPHCE Act aims to replenish the funds that were quickly claimed in the days since the CARES Act was passed. For example, if passed, the PPPHCE Act would provide an additional $310 billion in funding to the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). Originally, the PPP had $349 billion available in forgivable loans for small businesses. The program’s launch was bumpy – many could not access the portals to apply, and even those who could apply complained of an obtuse application process and a lack of updates on their status. Despite these hitches, the initial funds were all allocated within two weeks of opening the application process, leaving many applicants without confirmed loans. If passed, the PPPHCE Act replenishes funds available for PPP but again on a first-come, first-served basis.
The total amount provided by the PPPHCE hovers at about $484 billion. Although most of the money is going to the PPP, billions of other dollars are going to places such as community lenders, hospitals, funding for testing, and emergency disaster loans and grants.