COVID-19

Congress passes legislation to extend PPP loan deadlines

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jun 4, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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The legislation defers payroll taxes for businesses getting the loans, and it gives them more time to repay any part of a loan that isn’t forgiven. David McNew/Getty Images
COVID-19

Congress passes legislation to extend PPP loan deadlines

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jun 4, 2020
The legislation defers payroll taxes for businesses getting the loans, and it gives them more time to repay any part of a loan that isn’t forgiven. David McNew/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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Congress has passed legislation loosening the rules and extending the deadlines for the Paycheck Protection Program, which gives forgivable loans to small businesses to keep people on payrolls. It now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The legislation is designed to smooth out a number of kinks in the program that businesses complained about. Initially, Paycheck Protection loans would only be forgiven if a business spent 75% of the loan money on payroll. The new bill lowers that to 60%. Businesses also have more time to spend the money — six months instead of two. That’s in response to businesses that complained that they couldn’t spend their loan money in such a short time frame when their workers didn’t have much to do, because they were still closed.

Without the new bill, the first businesses to receive Paycheck Protection loans would have to start paying them back next week. The legislation also defers payroll taxes for businesses getting the loans, and it gives them more time to repay any part of a loan that isn’t forgiven.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

It’s still the question on everyone’s minds: What’s going on with extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

The $600-a-week payments have ended, officially, as of July 31. For now, there is no additional federal pandemic unemployment assistance. House Democrats want to renew the $600 payments. Senate Republicans have proposed giving the unemployed 70% of their most recent salary by this October, when state unemployment offices have had time to reconfigure their computer systems to do those calculations. Until then, jobless workers would just get another $200. But, nothing has been signed into law yet.

What’s the latest on evictions?

For millions of Americans, things are looking grim. Unemployment is high, and pandemic eviction moratoriums have expired in states across the country. And as many people already know, eviction is something that can haunt a person’s life for years. For instance, getting evicted can make it hard to rent again. And that can lead to spiraling poverty.

Which retailers are requiring that people wear masks when shopping? And how are they enforcing those rules?

Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, CVS, Home Depot, Costco — they all have policies that say shoppers are required to wear a mask. When an employee confronts a customer who refuses, the interaction can spin out of control, so many of these retailers are telling their workers to not enforce these mandates. But, just having them will actually get more people to wear masks.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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