The National Federation of Independent Business on Tuesday pushed Congress to provide more support for the Paycheck Protection Program — a key relief provision for small businesses struggling during the pandemic.
The program provides a loan of up to six weeks for a small business to cover expenses like payroll and utility bills. If jobs are preserved during that time, the loan is converted into a grant.
But problems have marred the program, including timely access to paperwork for both businesses and banks that facilitate the loans as well as communication issues.
And the money for the first wave of loans could be soon running out.
“The original appropriation for the PPP forgivable loans may be exhausted as soon as this week,” NFIB wrote in the letter. “As the program operates on a first-come, first-served basis, further delays in appropriations will slow the forgivable loan approval process and lock out those business owners who are only recently eligible to apply such as independent contractors and self-employed individuals. If the funds are exhausted or financial institutions are forced to limit applications, the smallest businesses will be harmed the most.”
The group says an additional $251 billion is needed to support the program.
The pandemic and resulting economic shutdown of non-essential businesses has led to millions of job losses around the country.