Washington — President Biden on Tuesday signed an extension for the popular Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was created last year to help small businesses weather the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The deadline to apply for a PPP loan has been extended from March 31 to May 31, and the law extends authorization of loans to June 30 to give the Small Business Administration additional time to process applications.
Mr. Biden thanked Democratic Senators Ben Cardin and Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Susan Collins for helping to shepherd the bill through Congress, where it received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. The bill extending the deadline passed the House by a vote of 415 to 3, and was approved in the Senate by a vote of 92 to 7.
As of March 28, the program has approved more than 8.7 million loans totaling more than $734 billion since it was created last year, according to Small Business Administration data. For all 2021 loans by the program, 78.4% are for $50,000 and under, and the average loan is $59,000.
In late February, the Biden administration announced several additional changes to the program aimed at making the distribution of loans more equitable. As of early March, Small Business Administration data shows average loans to minority-owned businesses were up 20% during the two-week exclusive window from the average over the previous 10 days. Loans to women-owned businesses were up 14%, and loans to small businesses in rural areas were up 12% over the same periods.