Welch Co-Sponsored Bill to Help Vermont Small Businesses Passes the House
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Peter Welch to revamp the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), providing more flexibility for small businesses struggling to survive during the coronavirus pandemic. This bill is a stand-alone version of similar reforms that were included in the Heroes Act (H.R. 6800), which passed the House last week. Majority Leader McConnell has refused to take up that bill in the Senate, which also included funds to help first responders, small businesses and state and local governments respond to the pandemic.
The PPP is a nearly $700 billion business loan program established by the CARES Act to help small businesses and non-profits continue to pay their workers and expenses during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Payroll Protection Program has provided much-needed funds for thousands of Vermont businesses devastated by the pandemic, but the strict SBA loan forgiveness requirements make the program unworkable for many businesses,” said Welch. “Vermont businesses need urgent relief, and these reforms help provide the necessary flexibility so that these loans work for them. This bill is critical to help small businesses survive during this unprecedented crisis.”
The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (H.R. 7010) will:
- Allow forgiveness for expenses beyond the current 8-week covered period to 24 weeks and extend the rehiring deadline.
- Increase the limit for nonpayroll expenses from 25 percent to 40 percent to better match business expenditures.
- Extend loan terms from 2 years to 5 years for new loans.
- Ensure full access to payroll tax deferment for recipients of PPP loans.
The bill passed the House on an overwhelming 417-1 vote. The Senate is considering a similar bill.