The Small Business Administration is expected to begin taking loan applications again next week through the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses slammed by the coronavirus-related economic freeze, Fox News has learned.
An administration official told Fox News on Friday that the SBA could begin taking those applications for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program -- which helps businesses with under 500 employees obtain loans that can cover eight weeks of their payroll, benefits and other expenses -- as early as Monday.
The PPP was created as part of the more than $2.2 trillion “Phase 3” stimulus package, known as the CARES Act. The program converts the small business loans to grants and would be fully forgiven if 75 percent of the loan is used to keep employees on the payroll.
The PPP ran out of funding earlier this month, spurring Congress to pass a $484 billion “Phase 3.5” relief package to replenish the PPP funds and fund other programs.
The “Phase 3.5” bill passed the House on Thursday after passing in the Senate earlier this week, and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump on Friday afternoon. The new interim emergency relief package delivered a $310 billion infusion to the PPP, with $30 billion of that reserved for community-based lenders, small banks and credit unions, and $30 billion for mid-sized banks and credit unions.
The bill also provided an additional $50 billion for the Small Business Administration’s emergency disaster lending and $10 billion in SBA disaster grants.
Democrats had been pushing for additional help for state and local governments that are running dry on revenue during the pandemic, but Republicans refused.
Democrats, instead, secured $75 billion for health care providers to support COVID-19 expenses and lost revenue due to the canceling of many elected procedures. And the package includes $25 billion to develop mass testing, with $11 billion earmarked for states and localities.
The interim emergency spending bill comes as the U.S. continues to grapple with the coronavirus crisis, and as state governors begin considering when to reopen their economies.
As of Friday, the U.S. reported more than 869,000 positive cases of COVID-19 across the country and more than 49,960 deaths.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.