Congress OKs bill to replenish funding for small-business relief

April 24, 2020

Mark Schremmer

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Editor’s note: President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on Friday, April 24. 

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $484 billion relief package that will replenish funding for programs aimed at helping small businesses.

The bill was approved by a vote of 388-5 on Thursday, April 23. The bill already passed the Senate earlier in the week and was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Friday, April 24.

As part of the measure, $321 billion will provide additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program with $60 billion reserved for credit unions and other community banks in order to better reach smaller businesses. The bill also includes $50 billion for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans and another $10 billion for EIDL advances.

Previous funding for the two programs, which were aimed at helping small businesses recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, ran out last week. The first iteration of the programs was criticized for giving the money to large companies.

However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the program helped many small businesses.

“The PPP, implemented by our partners at the Small Business Administration, has provided assistance to more than 1 million small businesses with fewer than 10 workers,” Mnuchin said in a statement. “The program is already helping more than 30 million Americans, and with this additional funding, we expect tens of millions more will be able to receive critical relief.”

OOIDA relief package response

OOIDA said there are provisions in the second version of the program that will do more to help small businesses, including small-business trucking companies.

“The latest relief package is good for small trucking businesses,” said Collin Long, OOIDA’s director of government affairs. “It provides a significant infusion of cash into the depleted PPP and EIDL programs and, most importantly, sets aside a portion of the funding for community banks and credit unions, which had not been done previously. This change should improve the ability of small trucking businesses to access federal relief, and we encourage truckers who need financial support to contact their banks about these programs as soon as possible.”

After the first relief package was approved by Congress, OOIDA prepared a document with information about the programs, including how to apply.

“For PPP loans, please reach out to your bank or lender as soon as possible in anticipation of the program reopening,” OOIDA wrote in an email to its members earlier this week. “For EIDL, you can apply here once the new funding is approved.”

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Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.