Paycheck Protection Program flexibility bill passes Senate

June 4, 2020

Mark Schremmer

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The Senate has passed a bill aimed at providing more flexibility for businesses using Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Senators passed the measure with unanimous consent on Wednesday, June 3, sending it to President Donald Trump to be signed into law. The bill passed the House on May 28 by a vote of 417-1.

Flexibility would be provided by lowering the amount of the PPP loan that must be used on payroll from 75% to 60%, by increasing the period businesses have to use the loan from eight weeks to 24, by expanding the two-year loan maturity to five years for new loans, and by allowing for businesses receiving a loan to take advantage of the employer payroll tax deferment.

The payroll percentage change is intended to allow businesses to use more of their loan to cover rent and utilities while still qualifying for loan forgiveness. Existing loans will not be affected by the increase of loan maturity to five years, but lenders and borrowers can renegotiate.

OOIDA said the bill is a step in the right direction and that the Association will continue to push for legislation that will specifically help small-business truckers.

“We are pleased that Congress has provided some PPP flexibility for small-business truckers,” said Bryce Mongeon, OOIDA’s director of legislative affairs. “This legislation includes some of the changes that we have been asking for since problems with the program became apparent, like allowing for more of the loan to be used for nonpayroll expenses. With that said, we will continue to work with Congress to get more targeted economic relief to meet the unique needs of truckers.”

The Senate made no changes to the House version of the bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas).

“At its core, representation begins with listening,” Phillips said in a speech on the House floor last week. “Our small-business owners, the institutions of our main streets and the glue of our communities, are asking us to take actions to solve problems and engage in some good old fashioned teamwork … This bill will help people in the ways that they need, and we haven’t a moment to lose.”

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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 more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.