Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that 5,334 small businesses in Maine have been approved for more than $1 billion in forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program she co-authored. Dozens of Maine lending institutions are currently participating in the program.
“These overwhelmingly high numbers speak for themselves. This more than $1 billion in urgently needed relief is great news for our State, and it will help thousands of Maine small employers continue to pay their employees and keep from closing their doors,” said Senator Collins. “I worked hard with a bipartisan group of my colleagues to create this forgivable loan program to support small employers and their employees, which will address the cash-flow problem that small businesses are facing due to the economic harm caused by COVID-19. Maine banks and credit unions are working around the clock to assist small businesses and certain nonprofits with their funding needs. I will continue to work closely with these financial institutions, the SBA, and the Treasury Department to ensure this approved funding is disbursed as soon as possible.”
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 and signed into law on March 27, 2020.