1,548 loans have been approved for Maine small employers since the program resumed accepting applications on Monday
The average loan was approximately $39,000, with an estimated average business size of fewer than four employees
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Small Business Coronavirus Task Force,announced today that $2.3 billion in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans have been approved for a total of 18,247 small employers in Maine.
On Monday, SBA resumed accepting PPP applications now that legislation Senator Collins negotiated to increase funding for PPP by $320 billion has been signed into law. In the two days since the program restarted, an additional 1,548 Maine small employers were approved for $60.5 million in forgivable loans. The average loan was approximately $39,000, with an estimated average business size of fewer than four employees. This group also includes a number of self-employed individuals.
“These forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans are a lifeline to thousands of Maine small businesses and self-employed individuals and are supporting the jobs of an estimated 185,000 Mainers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Collins. “With an average loan of just $39,000, the Maine employers who were approved over the past two days are supporting some of the smallest businesses in Maine, with an estimated average size of fewer than four employees. I am delighted that Congress approved an additional $320 billion last week so these small employers can continue sending paychecks to their workers. The extremely highdemand for these loans demonstrates why it was so important that we replenished funding for the PPP last week.”
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 keep paying 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.
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, 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 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.