03.25.21

Whitehouse Votes to Extend Vital Paycheck Protection Program for RI Small Businesses

RI small businesses have been approved for over 10k PPP loans worth more than $822 million to date

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today voted to extend the deadline for small businesses to apply for funding from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to May 31. The measure was approved in a 92-7 vote, sending the bill to President Biden’s desk. The PPP had been set to expire at the end of this month.

Congress created the PPP in the CARES Act last spring. PPP offers forgivable loans to small businesses and nonprofit organizations for payroll and other eligible expenses. As of Sunday, 10,431 PPP loans worth more than $822 million had been approved for Rhode Island businesses and nonprofits.

“Rhode Island small business owners should know the Paycheck Protection Program is still available to keep employees on the payroll and cover basic expenses so they can be ready to quickly ramp back up,” said Whitehouse. “The SBA is also working on standing up new emergency lending funds Congress created specifically for restaurants and performance venues, and we’ll have more to share about those programs in the weeks ahead.”

Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law by President Biden earlier this month, provided an additional $7.25 billion for the PPP. The American Rescue Plan also provides funding for a number of other programs for small businesses, including $15 billion for the Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Program, as well as two new programs set to be rolled out as soon as next month: a $25-billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund and a $16-billion Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program.

As of last month, Rhode Island’s small businesses had seen revenues decrease by more than 47 percent compared to January 2020. New data released today shows Rhode Island’s unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3 percent in February.

Rhode Island small business owners can apply for PPP funding through approved lenders. More information about the program is available on the SBA’s website. Constituents who have questions about the process can reach Whitehouse’s office via the contact form on his website, or by phone at (401) 453-5294.