Politics

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The Senate passes a $484 billion COVID-19 relief package Tuesday morning, allocating hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding to small businesses

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

The Senate passed a $484 billion COVID-19 relief package Tuesday morning, allocating hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding to small businesses. According to the 25 page legislative text, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established in the $2 trillion CARES act last month will be authorized an additional $310 billion to loan to small businesses, and $75 billion will be provided to hospitals and health care providers. In addition, $25 billion will be used to facilitate and expand testing for COVID-19, $11 billion will be allocated to states and localities to assist in COVID-19 testing measures, and the rest of the funds will go towards other entities, such as federal agencies or investments in small and promising technology companies. ~

In late March, as the Coronavirus outbreak worsened in the US and social distancing practices began to fall into place, the Senate unanimously passed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act – the largest emergency aid package in US history – with the intent of softening the economic blow of COVID-19, specifically for American workers, small businesses, and big corporations. The massive stimulus package included $350 billion in loans to small businesses to help keep them afloat (PPP), $100 billion to help hospitals stay on top of supplies and personnel amid an influx of patients, a $500 billion fund for certain large industries, and $454 billion for the Federal Reserve to leverage zero interest loans to businesses, states, and municipalities. The package also allocates $1,200 checks for all taxpayers making $75,000 a year and below, $2,400 checks for married couples making $150,000 a year and below –  including $500 checks per child – and $1,200 checks for all people who file as “head of household” on their taxes. ~

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 1.66 million loans for more than $352 billion were approved before the PPP ran out of funds early last week. With the passing of the new relief package amid high pressure to support struggling small businesses around the country, the SBA will look to approve upwards of 700,000 small business loans in coming weeks. ~

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