Bill for greater PPP flexibility to support Montana small businesses heads to President’s desk

U.S. Senator Steve Daines today secured Senate passage of his bipartisan bill giving greater flexibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support and provide more relief for Montana’s small businesses and workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The bipartisan bill now heads to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

“I’m glad to have secured passage of my bipartisan bill to increase flexibility in the Paycheck Protection Program to ensure Montana small businesses have the relief they need to stay open, support our workers and protect jobs,” Daines said. “My bipartisan proposal is the result of listening to feedback from Montanans on what flexibility they need under PPP to make it even more effective. I look forward to getting flexibility for Montana small businesses and workers using PPP signed into law.”

Click HERE for an audio statement from the Senator.

Daines bipartisan bill:

  • Extends the 8-week “covered period” for forgiveness to 24 weeks.
    • This is critical for small businesses that applied for their PPP loan and received it before they were able to open their doors. This helps small businesses help workers stay employed, otherwise employees may be furloughed or without a job at the end of the eight weeks. Businesses that received a loan before passage of this bill can keep their 8-week period.
  • Require at least 60% of forgiven loan amounts to come from payroll expenses (down from 75%)
    • Many borrowers were at risk of not being able to meet this requirement, and considered returning their loans and shutting their doors. This will provide flexibility to employers.
  • Moves rehiring safe harbor from June 30th to December 31st
    • Currently, under PPP, a small business has to hire their employees back by June 30th. Due to enhanced unemployment insurance under the CARES Act, some small businesses are having trouble rehiring workers. Without greater flexibility, some small businesses may be forced to close their doors if they are unable to rehire workers. Therefore, increasing flexibility helps keep the doors open and give workers a place to go back to work. It also helps give Montanans on unemployment insurance more incentives to get back to work.
  • Allows Full 2020 Payroll Tax Deferral
    • The CARES Act did not allow PPP borrowers to defer payroll taxes after the date their loan was forgiven. This changes that requirement to allow employers who take PPP loans to still defer employer-side payroll taxes through 2020.
  • Establish a minimum loan maturity period of five years, instead of the current two-year loan term.
    • This requirement will provide borrowers more flexibility in paying back non-forgiven amounts. This only applies for loans issued after the bill is signed into law, but borrowers and lenders could mutually agree to extend current loans.

Daines introduced his bipartisan bill with Senator Angus King (Maine). Reps. Dean Phillips (Minn.) and Chip Roy (Texas) introduced it in the House.