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House approves additional $484B in COVID-19 funds for small businesses, testing, hospitals

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved $484 billion in aid to small businesses, testing and hospitals struggling from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The bill, which the Senate passed Tuesday, allocates funds for small business relief programs and testing measures as well as hospitals. The president is expected to sign the bill today.

The aid will support the Paycheck Protection Program, economic injury disaster loans and emergency grants, according to an analysis from the National Automatic Merchandising Association.  

The original funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans ran out of funds more than a week ago.

The Small Business Administration, which administers the loans, is not presently accepting new applications for either the PPP loans or the Economic Injury Disaster Loans, according to its website.

The appropriation for the Paycheck Protection Program — which provides loans to allow businesses with less than 500 employees to retain their workers — has increased from $349 billion to $670.335 billion under the new bill.

A total 1.6 million PPP loans were approved before funding for the program ran out last Thursday, according to an ABC News report.

The appropriation for the Emergency Economic Injury Disaster grants for businesses with 500 to 10,000 employees has increased from $10 billion to $20 billion. An additional $50 billion has been appropriated for emergency EIDL grants. 

Under the Paycheck Protection Program, borrowers with less than 500 employees can apply for a potentially forgivable loan of up to $10 million. 

Under the direct lending loans, companies with 500 to 10,000 employees will be able to apply for a loan up to $2 million. And while the loan is not potentially forgivable like the PPP loan, borrowers could potentially receive a $10,000 grant that does not have to be repaid.

Under the new bill, a total of $30 billion has been set aside for Paycheck Protection Program loans made by the Insured Depository Institutions and credit union that have assets between $10 billion and $50 billion while $30 billion has been set aside for loans made by community financial institutions, small insured depository institutions and credit unions with less than $10 billion, according to the analysis from the National Automatic Merchandising Association.