The U.S. Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed the Paycheck Protection and Healthcare Enhancement Act, legislation that would provide $320 billion in additional funding to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This lending program is intended to help small employers retain employees on their payrolls during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and resulting economic emergency. The legislation would also provide funding for hospitals dealing with the immediate effects of the pandemic, and, specifically, for enhanced COVID-19 testing.
PPP loans, which, under certain conditions, may be forgiven, can be used not only for employee wages and salaries, but also to fund employee retirement and health benefits during an eight-week period.
The legislation must now be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. An attempt to do so is expected on Thursday, April 23. President Trump has indicated he would sign the Senate’s version of the bill.