U.S. Congress Approves Additional Relief Funding
On Thursday, April 23, Congress overwhelmingly passed additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the most prominent small business assistance program from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, or “Phase 3” of Congress’s coronavirus response.
Intended to prop up struggling small businesses during the pandemic shutdown, the PPP ran out of funds within days of coming online. Nearly $350 billion in funds was originally available for businesses with less than 500 employees to take out loans up to $10 million. While this program was just one of many loan programs created in the CARES Act, its ability to convert into a grant if used towards payroll, rent and utilities made it a favorite among cash-strapped businesses.
Congressional leaders have since spent the last few weeks negotiating plans to infuse the program with additional funds and help protect smaller, “Main Street” businesses. These negotiations resulted in what is being referred to as “Phase 3.5.” This phase includes $380 billion for PPP and other smaller business loans; a $75 billion increase in funds for hospitals; and an additional $25 billion for COVID-19 testing. BOMA will continue to work with Congress on practical solutions as the long-term economic effects of the coronavirus shutdown impact our members and tenants.