By Lauren Schapker, vice president, legislative affairs, ARTBA

President Donald Trump April 24 signed into law the “Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act,” which builds on the provisions of earlier COVID-19 response legislation. The House a day earlier approved the legislation 388-5, as nearly all members returned to Washington, D.C., for the vote. The Senate April 21 unanimously passed the bill.

The $484 billion law would provide additional funding to existing programs, including $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It provides potentially forgivable loans to businesses employing fewer than 500 people to help maintain payroll. An additional $60 billion is allocated for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Grant programs, which also helps businesses stay afloat. While aid to states to conduct COVID-19 testing was included, funding to address budget shortfalls facing state and local governments was not.

ARTBA, through its leadership in the Small Business Leadership Council, April 17 wrote to Congress supporting the increased funding for the PPP program. Congress is scheduled to return to Washington on May 4 and will continue to work on economic relief and recovery legislation in the interim.

(Above, file photo of President Trump.)