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Big ‘I’ Advocates for Small Businesses as PPP Takes Center Stage

As Congress and the Trump administration look for ways to help the economy rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Big “I” is continuing to advocate for legislation that will help independent agencies.
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Recently, the Big “I” joined a number of business organizations in sending a letter to the Trump administration and congressional leaders which focused on ways to improve the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In the letter, the signees ask for more flexibility in the PPP and specifically requests "emergency legislative and administrative action to: (1) repeal the Paycheck Protection Program’s (PPP) 75%-25% rule, (2) extend the eight-week period for purposes of calculating loan forgiveness, and (3) extend the June 30 rehiring and restoration of pay safe harbor date.”

Shortly after the letter was sent, the U.S. House of Representatives announced that it would vote on the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act by Reps. Dean Phillips (D-Minnesota) and Chip Roy (R-Texas). This legislation included most of the PPP fixes discussed in the letter, as well as two other provisions that would eliminate restrictions that limit loan terms to two years and ensure full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans.

As of press time, this Big “I” supported legislation was expected to pass today with overwhelming bipartisan support. While it remains uncertain whether the U.S. Senate will take up this exact legislation, lawmakers have signaled they would like to pass legislation related to improving the mechanics of the PPP.

In additional PPP news, at the end of last week, the Trump administration released two new rules. The first rule gives further guidance on loan forgiveness and what is eligible for forgiveness under the PPP. The second rule provides guidance on the Small Business Administration loan review procedures and related borrower and lender responsibilities. While some were hoping that this newly released guidance would improve the PPP by adopting the provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act mentioned above, it ultimately did not do that. 

As Congress and the Trump administration continue to consider COVID-19 relief measures, the Big “I” will make the most up-to-date government affairs information available on the coronavirus resource page and in the weekly News & Views e-newsletter.

Wyatt Stewart is Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs.