According to the Associated Press, Trump administration and Congress are nearing an agreement on an aid package of up to $450 billion to boost a small-business loan program that has run out of money and add funds for hospitals and COVID-19 testing. Along with the small business boost, President Donald Trump said the negotiators were looking at “helping our hospitals,” particularly hard-hit rural health care providers. A deal could be announced Monday, the president said at a White House briefing.
This action is result of the roughly $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to cover eight weeks of a business’ payroll expenses to retain workers or hire back those on furlough, running out of money last Thursday (April 16) after approving nearly 1.7 million loans. The Web site for the Small Business Administration is currently unable to accept any new applications.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier Sunday he was hopeful of a deal that could pass Congress quickly and get the Small Business Administration program back up by midweek.
The Associated Press reports that, under the emerging deal, there would be $300 billion for small-business payroll program, and $50 billion would be available for small business disaster fund.
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UPDATE: The Senate officially passed a roughly $480 billion relief package Tuesday that includes hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding for small businesses hurt by the coronavirus outbreak along with other priorities like money for hospitals and expanded Covid-19 testing. The bill includes $310 billion for the Payment Protection Program and small business loans, $60 billion for smaller lending facilities, $10 billion for grants under the Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, and $2.1 billion for additional salaries and expenses for the Small Business Administration, among other health-related items.