Washington, D.C.— U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that 11,088 small employers in Maine have been approved for $1.87 billion in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans. Dozens of Maine lending institutions are currently participating in the program and working around the clock to disburse this funding as quickly as possible.
“As of this morning, $1.87 billion in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans have been approved for 11,088 Maine small employers. This critical relief will help more than 100,000 Maine employees who will receive paychecks even if they have been temporarily laid off due to a decline in business resulting from the pandemic,” said Senator Collins. “The immense value and high demand for the program makes it imperative that Congress act quickly to provide additional funding. Otherwise, it will run out of money. SBA has also indicated that a separate program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, needs to be replenished as well. I am working with my colleagues in the Senate to deliver this urgently needed funding to help meet the strong demand for both of these programs in Maine and across our country.”
Mike Tammaro, President of V.L. Tammaro Oil Company, a second generation oil/propane delivery business in Calais, is just one Maine employer already benefiting from the Paycheck Protection Program. He tells Senator Collins that his company applied for the program on Friday, April 3rd, and with the help of his bank, First National Bank in Calais, he received the funds one week later.
“My employees over 40 in number are my family, many of whom have been here over 15 and 20 years,” said Mr. Tammaro. “As a result of the Paycheck Protection Program, now we at least have a fighting chance of protecting my people and surviving financially to fight another day. I am so thankful for receiving this lifeline for me, my employees, my customers, and my community!”
Paycheck Protection Program loans were created by the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act, which was authored by Senator Collins along with Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to help small employers continue to keep paying their workers for an 8-week period during the COVID-19 pandemic. These loans will be forgiven so long as employers keep their workers on payroll. Certain overhead expenses, including utilities, are also included.
Their legislation was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which passed the Senate 96-0 and was signed into law on March 27, 2020.
Specifically, the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act:
- Creates the Paycheck Protection Program, a nearly $350 billion program to provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance to small businesses through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to quickly snap-back after the crisis.
- Allows the Paycheck Protection Program to cover payroll costs, including employee wages and salaries, paid sick leave, plus rent, mortgage interest payments, and utilities to provide immediate access to capital for small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19.
- Provides $265 million for grants to offer counseling, training, and related assistance to small businesses affected by COVID-19 to SBA resource partners, including Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers and $10 million for the Minority Business Development Agency’s Minority Business Centers and Minority Chambers of Commerce.
- Requires SBA to pay all principal, interest and fees on all new and existing SBA loan products including 7(a), Community Advantage, 504, and Microloan programs for 6 months, and provides $17 billion for this purpose.