Thousands of restaurants, nail salons and other small businesses unable to take full advantage of the financial lifeline provided through the federal Paycheck Protection Program would get some needed help under a bipartisan bill the House overwhelmingly passed Thursday.
The bill, now headed to the Senate, loosens some key rules regarding loan repayment and spending restrictions of the PPP. The program, created in March as part of the CARES Act, has already provided more than 4.4 million small businesses with an infusion of cash to keep their workers on the payroll during the coronavirus pandemic.
The $660 billion program, enacted as part of Congress’ response to the coronavirus crisis, provides businesses employing up to 500 workers forgivable loans of as much as $10 million. But many businesses said the program’s structure is too rigid to accommodate different types of small businesses, especially restaurants whose rent-heavy expenses do not fit well in a program that prioritizes rehiring of employees.