Senate to Vote On $250 Billion More for SMBs Thursday

The Treasury requests additional $250 billion to help SMBs devastated by COVID-19

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The Senate will vote Thursday to approve more funding for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“I will work with Secretary Mnuchin and Leader Schumer and hope to approve further funding for the Paycheck Protection Program by unanimous consent or voice vote during the next scheduled Senate session on Thursday,” he said in a statement.

McConnell did not say how much more funding would be proposed, but Senator Marco Rubio tweeted it will need “at least another $200-$250 billion.”

Mnuchin confirmed in a tweet the Treasury Department will seek $250 billion.

The Paycheck Protection Program is part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package, which was signed into law. The program appropriates $349 billion for emergency small business loans.

The program helps businesses with fewer than 500 employees cover payroll, benefits, and other expenses. The maximum loan amount is $10 million or 2.5 times the monthly payroll for the past 12 months.

The rollout of the loan program has been rocky, as financial institutions experienced technical glitches, pushed for clarity about the program, and were overwhelmed by applications.

Small business owners expressed frustration obtaining loans as some banks require a pre-existing relationship with the lender.

Wells Fargo announced it stopped accepting loan applications for the PPP program. Bank of America said on Monday it has received more than 177,000 applications, totaling $30 billion in loans.

If the funding passes the Senate on Thursday, it will go to the House of Representatives for approval.

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