Carper, Coons, Blunt Rochester Applaud Passage of Bill to Give Small Businesses Using PPP Loans More Flexibility

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, along with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.), applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation that would give businesses more flexibility when it comes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This increased flexibility will, among other things, help Delaware businesses and nonprofits keep employees on payroll during the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation, backed by Delaware’s Congressional Delegation, passed the U.S. Senate unanimously on Wednesday evening following passage in the U.S. House of Representatives last week, and was signed into law today. 


Specifically, this legislation would extend the period during which borrowers must spend PPP funds in order to qualify for full forgiveness from 8 to 24 weeks. It would also push back the rehire date from June 30 to December 31, 2020, giving small businesses increased flexibility to rehire and reopen in accordance with state and local regulations. Additionally, the legislation shifts the caps on payroll and operating expenses, allowing borrowers to spend up to 40 percent of the loan funds on non-payroll operating expenses, including the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and still receive full forgiveness.


“Our small businesses drive our economy and employ millions in our region. If we want to get our economy back up and running in a safe way, we need to make sure we are really addressing their needs in a timely way,” said Senator Carper. “In conversations with small business owners up and down the state since the PPP loans were first made available, I’ve heard repeatedly that they need more flexibility in this program, especially as this pandemic continues. I’m glad we could come together, thanks to the leadership of those on the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship like Senator Coons, to pass this common sense legislation that will help keep Delawareans employed and the lights on for small businesses as we continue to recover and rebuild in the wake of this unprecedented pandemic.” 


“I’ve been talking every day with small business owners up and down the state of Delaware throughout this crisis, and I’ve consistently heard that the PPP program needed to be reformed and made more flexible so that it could help different businesses with different costs, staffing issues, and more,” said Senator Coons.  “This isn’t about politics, this is about helping Delaware businesses get the resources they need to get through this crisis, and I’m proud that every single member of the Senate voted to support it.”


“As our country has embarked upon our economic recovery from COVID-19, one of the most important and consequential programs in our recovery effort has been the PPP program. While the program was successful in many ways, we heard from the outset that we were not getting enough money to under or unbanked businesses and that the smallest businesses, which constitute the backbone of our economy, needed additional flexibility when it came to the terms of the PPP loans,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “We know that we still have much more work to do, but I’m pleased that we’ve taken a meaningful step in ensuring those businesses have the flexibility they need.”