Hours before the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was set to expire yesterday, the  US Senate unanimously passed an extension of the program to August 8.

The 5-week extension keeps the application process open for small businesses to still apply. Currently, more than $130 billion in funds are still unused. The program, intended to provide small business from closing and employees at work, has caused confusion among lenders and borrowers.   Changing guidelines and policies were at the root of this, but regardless, over 4.8 million small business owners took advantage.  The program has turned into more of a grant than a loan.  This is due to loan forgiveness guidelines that in many cases let businesses keep money borrowed.

Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio of Florida, the lead Republican negotiator, said he had no objections to the extension. He stated, “the vast majority of small business that wanted to benefit from the program have already used it.”

In tweet on Tuesday, Rubio wrote, “What we really need to pass very soon is targeted help for those who need a second round of aid,”.

The extended time period is unlikely to deplete the remaining funds. That said, it would keep a lifeline to small businesses open as lawmakers seek out next steps. For full details on PPP extension and loan guidelines, visit the Small Business Administration website.

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