Attention! Tustin Hangar ResourceClick Here

California's 40th District

Mar 15, 2021 | Economy, In The News

Dozens of trade groups representing a variety of industries said in a letter published Monday they support a bipartisan and bicameral effort to extend the Paycheck Protection Program’s March 31 deadline because the forgivable loan program has faced delays following some technical issues.

Nearly 100 organizations said in the letter they were in “strong support” of a bill introduced on March 11 called the PPP Extension Act of 2021, which would extend the deadline to apply to the Small Business Administration program from the end of March to May 31. House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez, D-N.Y., who was among the representatives to introduce the bill, told Law360 the legislation could be voted on as early as this week.

The trade associations that signed Monday’s letter hailed from the health care, banking, insurance, hospitality and travel, construction, real estate, retail, food and beverage and transportation industries.

The groups said their members were “highly concerned” about issues related to taxpayer-identification numbers and other technical difficulties that have led to holdups and rejections for applicants.

“These delays and denials may put many applicants in danger of not making the March 31st authorization deadline,” the trade organizations said. “Thank you for extending the window of opportunity for pandemic programs to effectively impact the affected small business sector, especially those traditionally under-invested and underserved groups which must also be given the chance to succeed.”

Among the organizations that signed the letter was the American Bankers Association, which penned a Jan. 25 letter to the SBA to highlight a technical error that was hampering approval for small businesses that were applying for a second loan. At the time, the ABA said lenders still waiting to hear if their first PPP loans were forgiven were blocked from submitting applications for a second loan.

A bipartisan group of Congress members said in March 11 press releases that they were introducing the PPP Extension Act of 2021 to give small business owners more time to apply for the program’s loans. The bill would also give the SBA an additional 30 days to process applications that are still pending by the time of the new deadline.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Senate Small Business Committee Chair Ben Cardin, D-Md., introduced the act in the Senate. And Velázquez; House Small Business Committee Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.; Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Ga., and Rep. Young Kim, R-Calif., introduced a companion bill to the PPP Extension Act of 2021 in the House.

Velázquez told Law360 in a statement that the support from the trade organizations “shows that extending PPP is good policy.”

“I expect a bipartisan vote to pass the bill this week and passage in the Senate so we can ensure this critical program doesn’t lapse,” she said.

Shaheen said in a March 11 news release that she was disappointed the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package known as the American Rescue Planwhich was sent to President Joe Biden’s desk last week, didn’t include an extension of the PPP loans.

Shaheen, Collins, Cardin and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., were the original authors of the Paycheck Protection Program, which became part of last year’s CARES Act. In 2020, more than 5 million small businesses landed forgivable PPP loans in 2020, according to the March 11 press release.

The statement noted that the four senators also advocated for an additional $284.5 billion to restart the program through December’s coronavirus relief packageSince the start of 2021, the SBA said it has approved more than 2.4 million PPP loans totaling about $165 billion as of March 7, according to the agency’s website. Since the program first started, the SBA said it’s greenlighted more than 7.5 million loans accounting for nearly $687.4 billion. 

Representatives for Cardin, Kim, Bourdeaux and some of the trade organizations did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Representatives for Collins, Luetkemeyer and Shaheen pointed to March 11 press releases for comment. The SBA declined to comment Monday.

Law 360

Signup to receive our Email Newsletters

The Latest News