U.S. President Donald Trump signed a $484 billion bill today to alleviate the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the funding in the bill ($320 billion) will flow to small business through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Program provides forgiveable loans to small businesses that keep their employees on payroll.
Both Republicans and Democrats are referring to this bill as interim legislation meant to bridge the gap between the $2 trillion CARES Act and the next round of COVID-19 legislation. PPP reached its lending limit after approving nearly 1.7 million loans after it was launched by the CARES Act in March, leaving many small businesses still searching for a loan.
Two minor modifications were made to the PPP in this round of funding: $30 billion is specifically for loans made by insured depository institutions and credit unions that have assets between $10 billion and $50 billion; and another $30 billion is for loans made by community financial institutions, small insured depository institutions and credit unions with assets worth less than $10 million.
The bill also includes $100 billion for hospitals and a nationwide COVID-19 testing program, as well as $60 billion for small business loans and grants delivered through the Small Business Administration’s existing disaster aid program.