The U.S. Senate approved the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 226) on April 21, 2020, providing $484 billion in financial assistance and funding for various programs in response to the COVID-19 crisis, including the small business loan programs launched and expanded by the March 27th CARES Act. The House is expected to follow suit as soon as April 23.

The measure would increase the authorization and appropriations level for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) from $349 billion to $659 billion, and the Emergency Economic Impact Grants from $10 billion to $20 billion. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program would get an additional $50 billion in appropriations.

As we discussed with John Miller, Deputy Associate Administrator of the Small Business Administration, on the Insights Association Virtual Town Hall on April 17, the funding for the PPP, the emergency grant program, and EIDL all ran dry last week.

The Senate attempted to replenish the small business programs' funding a couple of weeks ago, but House and Senate Democrats required the additional funding provisions before an agreement could be struck.

H.R. 226 would designate at least $30 billion in PPP loans through banks and credit unions with $10 billion to $50 billion in consolidated assets, and $30 billion through smaller banks and credit unions, or community lenders such as community development financial institutions and minority depository institutions.

The Insights Association contacted Congress and the President in support of further small business loan program funding on April 8. At the same time, IA asked Congress and the White House to relax the SBA affilitation rules currently restricting the access of small businesses with equity investors, especially those with minority investments. Unfortunately, while the legislation answers our request on funding, it makes no changes to the eligibility requirements.

Read the full amended bill text, and Congressional summaries of the PPP/EIDL/EEIG program funding and hospital/healthcare testing and funding provisions.

IA maintains extensive coronavirus crisis-related information and is putting out fresh articles regularly.