Washington, DC – Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) issued the following statement following her support of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act in the House of Representatives. This bill will amend several provisions of the Payment Protection Program to make it easier for businesses to qualify for loan forgiveness and will allow for more flexibility in the usage of funds.
“Since the House passed the Paycheck Protection Program in March, I’ve been working with many small businesses in our community to make sure they receive the funds they need to stay open, and to keep their employees on the job and earning income,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “I also recognize that the original program was not suitable for every type of small business which is why I supported the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which will allow more small businesses in my community to access critical funds to stay afloat, serve their customers, and keep their employees working. We’re all in this together and I will continue to work tirelessly to make sure our economy recovers, our healthcare needs are met, and our families have the resources they need to stay on, or get back on, their feet.”
Millions of small businesses have participated in the Payment Protection Program, but many of the provisions of the program have made it difficult for businesses to get the help and stability PPP was meant to provide. This bill improves the program by:
- Allowing forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period, up to 24 weeks
- This extension will afford businesses the flexibility to spread their PPP loan proceeds over the full course of the crisis. Without this provision, employees will be furloughed at the end of the 8 week period, which would be counterproductive to the goals of the loan
- Easing restrictions limiting non-payroll expenses to 40% of loan proceeds
- Fixed costs are a big part of a small business’ survival. This easement of fund allocation will allow businesses to cover costs like rent, mortgage, and utilities.
- Permitting the restructuring of existing loans to up to five-year terms
- According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, full recovery for that industry following both the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the 2008 recession took more than two full years. This is the same for many other industries: it will take many businesses more than two years to achieve sufficient revenue to pay back the loan.
- Ensuring full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans
- The purpose of PPP and the payroll tax deferment was to provide businesses with capital to weather the crisis. Receiving both should not be considered double- dipping. Businesses need access to both sources of cash flow to survive.
- Providing a rehiring safe harbor for businesses that make a good-faith effort to rehire employees
- To receive loan forgiveness under PPP, a business must rehire employees by a deadline of June 30, 2020. However, due to stay at home orders and other issues, this is not feasible in many cases, and some employees may decline the offer to be rehired. To mitigate this unintended consequence, businesses that make a good faith attempt to rehire employees, but are unable to, should still be able to receive loan forgiveness.
Issues: 116th Congress