JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If your business was one of millions of small businesses not covered by the Paycheck Protection Program, the $483 billion coronavirus relief bill could provide so much-needed relief.
The measure, which contains $383 billion in funding for small businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, cleared the U.S. Senate on Tuesday and the House is expected to vote on it on Thursday.
Included in the bill is $251 billion intended to refill the Paycheck Protection Program, which has already run out of nearly $350 billion intended to provide forgivable loans of up to $10 million for small businesses.
Like so many others, small business owner Allan Devault did not receive a loan through the PPP.
“We’re in the queue,” said Devault, managing partner of Black Sheep, Bellwether and Orsay restaurants.
He said he’s been forced to let 130 employees go as a result of stay-home orders and other measures imposed by state and local leaders in response to the pandemic. He’s desperate to get them back.
“I’m just chasing down all the government options and programs to help support the staff we had to let go,” Devault told News4Jax on Wednesday.
While Default was approved for a $50,000 loan through the Small Business Administration’s disaster relief fund, he’s holding out hope that his business will receive a loan through the new PPP funding.
“The PPP is really for the employees, and that’s what we’re really focused on,” he said.
As the Associated Press previously reported, here’s a breakdown of the funding included in the new bill:
- $251 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program;
- $60 billion would be set aside for the Small Business Administration’s disaster relief fund;
- $60 billion split among small banks and other institutions for underserved rural and urban areas;
- $75 billion would go to hospitals and health care providers to offset costs of the pandemic;
- $25 billion for coronavirus testing, including $11 billion set aside for state governments
Controversy has surrounded the previous round of funding released through the PPP, which awarded loans to major chains such as Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
Even though some of those businesses have chosen to return the money, the new bill is supposed to make sure that what happened before does not happen again.
If you’ve already applied for a PPP loan, just sit tight. Your application should still be on file. If you’re not sure, contact your financial institution to confirm your application was received.
But if you haven’t yet applied for a loan through the PPP, get your information and application squared away. Now’s a good time to call your bank and prepare to apply as soon as funds are available.