The Senate passed on Tuesday a bill to refill the coffers of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the highly popular forgivable loan meant to help small businesses keep employees paid during the COVID-19 economic slowdown. 

The bill includes an additional $310 billion for the  The program was originally funded at $350 billion, and that money was gone within two weeks of opening the application. This round is expected to go even faster, partially because there are people waiting in the wings with completed applications, and partially because most banks who want to participate as lenders have already been certified to do so. During the initial application cycle, many lenders who wanted to participate weren't certified until days before the money ran out. Many of those lenders were in the Farm Credit system, which is one likely reason that agricultural entities were among the last to benefit from the first round of PPP loans. 

The bill also includes a fix to another Small Business Administration program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Initially, agricultural entities were categorically excluded from eligibility for these loans, which can advance up to $10,000 to small businesses. The bill removes that exclusion and opens up EIDL to agricultural entities. In addition, the bill will add another $10 million to the EIDL fund, which was also depleted shortly after its initial opening. 

The House is expected to vote on the bill as soon as Thursday, and House leadership has already signaled their support for the package. We encourage any members who are interested in these programs to have an application ready to submit as soon as the programs are re-opened. Please reach out to your banks and lending institutions to learn what you need to do to be ready as soon as the money is authorized. There's a lot of competition for these funds, so don't lose out because you were too late! 

For more information on this program, as well as the USDA-based Coronavirus relief program, please check the "Resources" tab on the Public Policy page.