The Paycheck Protection Program, the U.S. Small Business Administration's program offering forgivable loans to small businesses that keep workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis, has been extended until August 8.

The program was set to expire on June 30 with about $130 billion in funds remaining unlent.

However, S. 4116, passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on June 30 and voice vote in the House on July 1, extended the program until August 8, and gives companies and organizations more time to take advantage of the loans.

The Small Business Administration has worked with nearly 5,500 lenders to approve 4.8 million loans totaling $518.9 billion as of June 27. According to SBA data, the average loan size was $108,000, and loans of $50,000 or less were about 66 percent of the total number of loans made. However, about 2 percent of borrowers received nearly 35 percent of the approved dollars.

IA supported the inclusion of the PPP program in the CARES Act in March, additional funds for the program in April, and then a new law early in June to make the loan and forgiveness terms more flexible. SBA recently revised the rules in line with that law and offered some EZ forms. IA also convened a virtual town hall with leadership from SBA to discuss the ins and outs of the PPP loans.