Coronavirus Government Response Update—President Trump Signs PPP ExtensionJuly 6, 2020
Welcome to the Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on President Donald Trump signing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) extension legislation, Tennessee’s unexpected struggle with its coronavirus immunity proposal, the US$30 billion in small-business loans returned to the PPP, and more.
The extension of the deadline for businesses to apply for aid under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was signed into law by President Trump on Saturday. The program, set up to support businesses impacted by closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, had expired Tuesday night, June 30, with roughly $130 billion left unused. The extension pushed the final day to apply to August 8.
Initially, it seemed as though Tennessee would have legislation providing businesses with protections from lawsuits by people impacted by the coronavirus. However, negotiations among lawmakers “broke down in the waning hours of legislative work,” according to the Associated Press. While the Senate supported making the liability bill’s protections retroactive to early March, the House opposed. Nearly 30 states have considered some sort of liability protection proposal since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, and only a handful have failed to pass such legislation. Business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce continue to lobby for national liability protections.
According to a senior administration official, businesses have returned or canceled more than $30 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. In part, this arises from a wave of large public companies with plentiful access to capital returning their loans. However, other companies could not meet the program’s original spending stipulations because their businesses remained closed. Some administration officials, such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, say they aim to pass additional, more targeted stimulus legislation by the end of July.