Members of the House Small Business Committee are signaling a willingness to give businesses more time to apply for crucial federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
“Extending this fast-approaching deadline for PPP loans would be a massive win for our community,” U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said in a statement Thursday.
Turner has backed both the program and more breathing room for those seeking the loans.
Both the Dayton and U.S. chambers of commerce have called for just such an extension, asking federal legislators to set a later deadline for businesses to apply to a program that has offered more than $687 billion in pandemic relief.
The forgivable loans “need additional time for them to actually produce the desired result,” said a recent letter from the U.S. and Dayton chambers.
House Small Business Committee Chair Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., and U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., the committee’s top Republican, have agreed to delay the PPP loan application deadline to May 31, media reports said. A bill was introduced in the House Thursday, the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act.
The current application deadline is March 31.
Messages were left Thursday with the offices of both Velázquez and Luetkemeyer.
“My office continues to work directly with business owners, as we know first-hand how PPP loans act as life-support for the Dayton small business community,” Turner said. “I look forward to supporting this extension which would help people keep their jobs, allow families to put food on their tables, and place our community on a path to economic stability.”
The loans are forgiven when businesses use the money to keep employees on payrolls and cover other operating expenses.
Maggie Ference, senior vice president and Small Business Administration director at Huntington National Bank, said in a press conference last week that the PPP program is not a “normal loan process.”
“There are no guarantors,” Ference said. “There is not an expectation for collateral support. There is no analysis for capacity for repayment. Don’t be concerned with your credit score heading into this opportunity.”
Applicants don’t need a business relationship with a bank to get started, she also said. Business payroll dictates the loan amount, but funds can also be used for other reasons — mortgages, rent, utilities and other operational expenses.
Said Ference: “This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get access to these funds.”
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