Underwood-Backed Legislation to Improve the Paycheck Protection Program and Support Small Businesses Passes the House

May 28, 2020
Press Release
Bipartisan bill to improve accessibility and help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic stay afloat

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) supported the passage of bipartisan legislation to improve the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and support small businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010) would make critical improvements to the PPP’s loan forgiveness process to ensure vulnerable small businesses are able to access and make full use of the program. 

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but right now, many are struggling to stay afloat. I’ve heard firsthand from small businessowners across northern Illinois who are worried that the Paycheck Protection Program, as currently implemented by the Small Business Administration, isn’t working for them. We must work together to ensure they are able to access the resources they need to survive and support their workers,” said Underwood. “Today’s bipartisan legislation expands this essential program so small businesses can receive the help they need amid this unprecedented public health crisis.” 

The bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act would improve flexibility to help small businesses by:  

  • Allowing loan forgiveness for expenses beyond the initial 8-week covered period to 24 weeks and extending the rehiring deadline; 
  • Increasing the current limitation on the use of forgivable loan proceeds for nonpayroll expenses from 25 percent to 40 percent; 
  • Extending the program from June 30 to December 31, 2020; 
  • Extending minimum loan terms from two years to five years; and 
  • Ensuring full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans.   

During the coronavirus pandemic, Underwood has continuously worked to support small businesses. In April, Underwood supported the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act to provide additional relief to small businesses and farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.