On Tuesday, Senate passed a bipartisan bill worth roughly $480 billion, to add funding to the government relief packages to help support U.S. businesses and citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to reports, the bill includes an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was wiped out in just two weeks’ time.
The PPP loan was a key component of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which became law on March 27. The CARES Act provided $349 billion for initial funding to guarantee PPP loans for small businesses through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that equal up to 250% of a company’s monthly payroll (capped at $10 million), which can be used to cover payroll, mortgages, rent and other specified expenses. The PPP program began on April 3, but the initial amount funded by Congress was not enough to address the large numbers of small businesses taking advantage of the program.
The new bill passed Tuesday also included an additional $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan fund, administered by the Small Business Administration.
AMN reached out to aftermarket association leaders for comment on the additional funding. Associations including MEMA, AASA, SEMA and Auto Care Association were vocal about the need for additional support for essential workers, suppliers and small businesses in the automotive aftermarket.
MEMA/AASA’s DC office issued the following statement following passage of the bill Tuesday:
“MEMA/AASA worked closely with Congress and the administration during the passage of the CARES Act. This included our critical work to include liquidity options for mid-size suppliers. We strongly supported and are pleased to see Congress and the President move toward replenishing the funding for the small business program. During this time of national crisis, we will continue to stand by our entire membership to provide fundamental relief options for suppliers and the aftermarket.”
Bill Hanvey, president, Auto Care Association, said he feels the administration heard the industry’s cry for help.
“We are encouraged that Congress and the Administration have heard our members’ pleas for additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program,” Hanvey said. “The Auto Care Industry is a $405 billion contributor to the United States economy comprised primarily of businesses with 100 or fewer employees. The creation of the Paycheck Protection Program highlights the importance of small businesses to our country and the speed with which those funds were exhausted is indicative of how many businesses throughout our country are suffering. We are thankful for the $310 billion in additional funding, but we know that will go quickly as well. Therefore, it is critical that the industry continues to communicate with us and with their elected officials regarding the financial issues facing their businesses as a result of the COVID-19 virus.”