As negotiators attempt to find common ground on the next round of coronavirus economic stimulus measures, financial trade groups Thursday urged lawmakers and federal agencies not to make piecemeal changes to the Paycheck Protection Program if it is reauthorized.
That program expires Saturday and lawmakers and the Trump Administration may include a reauthorization of the program in the next stimulus measure.
“The continuous changes like we have seen during the first two phases of PPP—where close to two dozen [interim final rules] and a number of FAQs were issued, even just days before the program is set to expire—have only made the program more complicated for small businesses who do not have the resources to constantly update or amend applications,” the groups, including the Credit Union National Association, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions and the American Bankers Association wrote in a letter to Senate Small Business Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
The two GOP senators last week introduced legislation to extend the PPP program; already this week, they introduced two amendments to last week’s legislation.
As amended their bill would create a second draw of PPP loans for businesses with 300 or fewer employees. Those business would have to have suffered a 35% revenue drop to qualify. A second amendment would create a long-term recovery loan program to provide capital to industries that have been the hardest hit by the pandemic.
The financial trade groups urged the lawmakers to be as specific as possible in the legislation itself in an effort to streamline the rulemaking process.
“As noted, PPP implementation has been a challenge for all involved with banks and credit unions continuing to do their part,” they wrote.
CUNA and NAFCU previously called on lawmakers to further simplify the PPP program by providing automatic loan forgiveness for loans of $150,000 or less.