25,695 Maine small employers have received a total of $2.55 billion since the PPP began
The average loan was $35,145 in the second round of funding with an estimated average business size of three employees
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Small Business Coronavirus Task Force,announced today that an additional 9,026 Maine small employers received $317,222,402 in forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) last week. Since the program began last month, 25,695 Maine small employers have received a total of $2.55 billion.
On Monday, SBA resumed accepting PPP applications after legislation Senator Collins negotiated to increase funding for PPP by $320 billion was signed into law. The average loan size in Maine last week was $35,145, with an estimated average business size of three employees. This group also includes a number of self-employed individuals.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, these Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans are a lifeline for thousands of Maine small businesses and self-employed individuals and are supporting Maine jobs estimated to exceed 200,000,” said Senator Collins. “The fact that the average loan size for Maine small employers in this second round of funding was just over $35,000—supporting some of Maine’s smallest businesses as well as self-employed individuals like carpenters, entertainers, plumbers, and many others—shows why it was so important that Congress approved an additional $320 billion to replenish the PPP. This program is making a real difference by allowing small businesses to stay afloat and continue to provide paychecks to their workers.”
The Paycheck Protection Program was 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 pay their workers for an 8-week period during the COVID-19 pandemic. These loans will be forgiven so long as employers use the money to keep their workers on payroll and to pay certain eligible business overhead expenses.
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. The CARES Act provided $350 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program.
Last month Congress passed legislation to provide an additional $320 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, bringing total program funding to $670 billion.
Following a push by Senator Collins, Treasury released a new rule on Monday that will provide greater flexibility to seasonal businesses applying for forgivable PPP loans.
Specifically, the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act:
- Creates the Paycheck Protection Program to provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance to small businesses through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll for those eight weeks. In general, if employers use the money to maintain their payroll and to pay certain eligible expenses, 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,employee benefits, paid sick leave, plus certain rent, mortgage interest payments, and utilities expenses to provide immediate access to capital for small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19. Additional wages may be paid to tipped employees.
- 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.