A new round of Covid stimulus funding has been a long time in the making. Now, it’s finally here--but a surprise rejection from President Trump is casting doubt on whether it will become law.
On Monday night, Congress approved a new Covid-19 relief package, which included the authorization of $900 billion in new aid for small-business owners struggling amid soaring infection rates and renewed government-mandated closures. It was part of a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill, which passed both the U.S. House and the Senate with broad bipartisan support and would fund the federal government through the end of September. But late Tuesday night, Trump tweeted a video calling the bill “a disgrace” and stating he’d send it back to Congress.
The bill’s most notable initiative for small-business owners: an extension and expansion of forgivable loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, which would get $284.5 billion of the funding. That part of the bill is still likely to eventually become law, as Trump’s main disagreement appears to stem from $600 stimulus checks allocated for most Americans--but the timeline is unclear.
If that happens, the new law will allow a second draw for businesses with fewer than 300 employees that already received a PPP loan--and have continued to experience financial hardship since. It will also open the doors for certain nonprofits to receive PPP loans, along with entities such as tourism boards, housing cooperatives, newspapers, and radio stations.
And the new loans could also be more easily forgiven. The slate of forgivable expenses will broaden to include software, cloud computing, human resources, and accounting needs, personal protective equipment, and supplier costs like logistics expenses and product materials.
Read our story to learn how the drama is unfolding in Washington, and check out our bonus coverage to see where the rest of that $900 billion will eventually goonce the legislation gets resolved.