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PPP flexibility bill for small businesses passed in both U.S. House and Senate

Congresswoman Amata and Sen. Marco Rubio
Source: RNZ Pacific

Washington, D.C. – Thursday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed Senate passage of bipartisan legislation to give more flexibility to small businesses as they use Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance, which is helping over 130 employers in American Samoa so far. The House already passed the bill, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, so it will become law with the President’s signature.

Congresswoman Amata supported the measure, as she co-led a similar flexibility proposal. She was the original cosponsor of the bipartisan Protecting Paychecks and Employees (PPE) Act with Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa-01). Both bills were in response to concerns expressed by small businesses. The legislation that passed included a main element of the Finkenauer-Amata legislation, by reducing the requirements on how small businesses use their PPP funds, and it also came through the Small Business Committee with bipartisan backing.

“These are tough times for small businesses, and they need to be able to put available dollars where they need them most, paying essential bills to survive,” said Aumua Amata, Vice Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee. “I’m happy Congress has strengthened the Paycheck Protection Program again, and given small businesses some flexibility.”

The bill makes the following PPP reforms:

•    Reduces the 75/25 rule that businesses spend 75 percent of loan proceeds on payroll. The new ratio is 60/40 to give flexibility to small businesses to pay bills as needed.

•    Expands loan maturity on any newly issued PPP approvals to a minimum maturity of 5 years, up from 2 years, and allows for the length of completed shorter PPP loans to be renegotiated, if necessary.

•    Allows small businesses to spread their assistance over a longer period than 8 weeks, since some small businesses have not been open for weeks. The new period will be 24 weeks going through December 31, 2020.