Nearly $2 Billion in Paycheck Protection Program Loans Approved for 12,364 Maine Small Employers
Washington, D.C.— U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that 12,364 small employers in Maine have been approved for $1.98 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.
“Nearly $2 billion of forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans have been approved for 12,364 Maine small employers. The Paycheck Protection Program is helping thousands of Maine small businesses continue to pay more than 100,000 employees and avoid closing their doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Collins. “Congress must act quickly to provide additional funding to meet the high demand of this program before it runs out of money. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program will soon need to be replenished as well. My colleagues and I are working to deliver this urgently needed funding to help meet the strong demand for both of these programs in Maine and across our country.”
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 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 for those eight weeks. 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 certain rent, mortgage interest payments, and utilities expenses 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.