Biden signs PPP small-business aid extension into law one day before it was set to expire

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden.

  • Biden signed the PPP Extension Act into law on Tuesday.
  • This bill extends the small business lending program by two months, through May 31.
  • It also allows the Small Business Administration to continue processing applications through the end of June.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

One day before it was set to expire, on Tuesday President Joe Biden signed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) extension into law, extending federal aid for small businesses through May 31.

Five days ago, the Senate sent the PPP Extension Act to Biden’s desk, which extends the small-business lending program by two months and permits the Small Business Administration to continue processing loan applications through the end of June. In both the House and the Senate, the bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, and Biden declared the law a “bipartisan accomplishment.”

“Without signing this bill today, there are hundreds of thousands of people who would lose their jobs, and small family businesses that might close forever,” Biden said before signing the bill.

Lawmakers lauded the passage of the PPP extension, given that many small business are still suffering financial hits brought on by the pandemic. That’s why Biden included $50 billion in small business aid in his stimulus plan, including $7.25 billion specifically for the PPP.

According to recent SBA data, the PPP has given out 8.2 million small-business loans thus far, totaling $718 billion, helping many small businesses continue paying their bills throughout the pandemic.

Since it was established under the CARES Act in March, though, the PPP’s loan disbursement has come in for criticism. For example, although loans within the program are intended for businesses with 500 or fewer employees, some large companies got them, such as fast-food chain Shake Shack getting $10 million, which it later returned.

Separately, the Office of the Inspector General found the PPP had distributed duplicate loans to over 4,000 borrowers due to problems in the SBA’s controls, which would have to be paid back.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have said the benefits of the PPP outweigh its detriments and are needed to provide pandemic relief to small businesses across the country.

“These loans have saved small businesses throughout our nation,” Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland said on the Senate floor last week. “They would not be here today but for this program.”

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