18th District Congressman Darin LaHood is trying to create flexibility for small business owners with the Paycheck Protection Program. The Promoting Flexibility for Small Business Owners Act provides restaurants, retailers, and other similar businesses with more time to meet the requirements to receive full forgiveness of their PPP loan if they are unable to full reopen in the next few weeks.
The Paycheck Protection Program created under the CARES Act provides American small businesses with important access to forgivable loans for the purposes of paying employees’ wages, rent, and utilities. However, under current law, timeline requirements – like the eight-week limit to spend the loan and the June 30th deadline for rehiring employees – will severely limit businesses like restaurants and retailers, who are unable to fully reopen due to state government restrictions, from fully taking advantage of these loans.
LaHood’s bi-partisan act would provide an additional four weeks of payments so that the loan can be forgiven. LaHood says that it provides flexibility in states like Illinois that have extended their closures so that small businesses can make full use of the program. He says it helps align businesses with operational needs while they work to put employees back on their payroll.
The Promoting Flexibility for Small Business Owners Act has received support from the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Restaurant Association. LaHood says the PPP has been a vital component of keeping portions of the American economy moving during the COVID-19 pandemic and now ensuing economic crisis that has been a result.