Coalition asks Congress, agencies to overhaul Paycheck Protection Program

Washington — The ADA and more than 100 stakeholders are urging Congress to overhaul the Paycheck Protection Program to help align the program with states’ reopening and ensure more small businesses remain in operation.

In a May 20 letter to leaders in the House, Senate, U.S. Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration, the coalition — led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — said it was grateful for Congress and the agencies’ efforts in creating and implementing the Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep or rehire their workers.

The groups pointed out the current rules were designed when lawmakers anticipated that stay-at-home orders would last only a few weeks, and said “the current environment is making it harder for small businesses to survive” and noted that small businesses that close permanently “will never be able to rehire their employees.”

To keep that from happening, the coalition requested emergency legislative and administrative action to:

• Repeal the Paycheck Protection Program’s 75%-25% rule, which requires that 75% of the loan’s funds go towards retaining or rehiring employees.
• Extend the eight-week period for purposes of calculating loan forgiveness.
• Extend the June 30 safe harbor date for rehiring and restoration of pay.