In an extraordinary session where members attempted to practice social distancing, wore masks, and tried to execute the vote as speedily as possible, The U.S. House voted to approve the latest COVID-19 relief bill on April 23. The bill apportions $320 billion more to the SBA’s tapped out Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act last month. The President is expected to sign the bill today.
Before the vote, the House established a committee to investigate the Administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis, and will give special attention to how monies from Congressional legislation for relief are being distributed and accounted for. This is in response to intense criticism over how the original moneys were distributed, and how banks prioritized loan applicants.
The SBA issued new guidelines requiring tighter oversight over which kinds of companies can access the small-business-designated funding. Publicly-traded companies with access to other funding options will be barred, and some of those who were given loans in the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program may be required to return it under the new guidelines.
Update, April 24, 2020, 7:00 p.m.: The SBA website just updated to state they’ll begin accepting new applications on Monday, April 27, at 10:30 a.m.
Contact your lender to ensure you can get in the queue as soon as the process reopens. Critics say the additional money is still far less than demand requires, so competition for the funds will be intense.
Let us know how you make out and what the process has been like for your agency. Good luck to all of our members.