Payment Protection Program may not be replenished until May

by | Apr 17, 2020 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Congress’ bipartisan program, designed to assist small business owners with payroll, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities, recently exacerbated appropriated funding.

The Small Business Association is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) due to deficient funding. Small business owners exhausted the 349-billion dollars appropriated by Congress in late March. Not everyone received a slice of the pie.

An Iowa farmer, who employs a handful of laborers, told Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) he “went through the hassle of signing up” only to find the funding run out soon after.

?Part of it was our bank?s fault; it took a while to get this up and running on their end. After three or four days of working on the application, my wife got that turned in yesterday (Wednesday). Now we hear that money may be gone,” he said.

Senator Ernst acknowledged the program?s success in stating, ?In Iowa, we are seeing the success of the program in real time. As of Tuesday, more than 22,000 loans had been approved. Small businesses received over three-point-five billion dollars so far.? However, Ernst realizes many small business owners were not able to receive assistance.

?We know there are others in the same circumstance,” Ernst said. They?re already in the cue. They?ve filled out their application and have been approved. We, as Congress, have to go back and refund this pot of money.”

Lawmakers could have prevented this shortfall. However, “politics got in the way.”

?We attempted to do that with a narrowly crafted appropriations package to refund the PPP, to make sure additional dollars were put in there. It was blocked on the floor of the Senate by our Senate Democrats,” Ernst said.

President Donald Trump asked legislators to “come togehter” and “make accomodations for additional funding.” Senator Ernst says her and her colleagues will “go back to the drawing board,” in hopes of providing new funding as quickly as possible.

“The issue at hand is how soon we can get those dollars in that coffer, (and) whether we can do that by unanimous consent. If they let us do it by unanimous consent, we could get that done in the next couple of days. If they don’t allow us to do that, then it will likely be the beginning of May before we can get more dollars into that program,” Ernst said.