October 19, 2020 - Issue: Vol. 166, No. 178 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 2nd Session
Paycheck Protection Program (Executive Calendar); Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 178
(Senate - October 19, 2020)
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[Page S6318] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] Paycheck Protection Program Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, shortly, we will be voting on whether or not to extend the Paycheck Protection Program, which has been hugely successful in helping our small businesses keep their employees. In Maine, three out of four small businesses have received $2.3 billion in forgivable loans. Most important, these loans have helped to sustain 250,000 jobs in the State of Maine and 50 million jobs nationwide. A bipartisan group of us--Senator Rubio, Senator Cardin, Senator Shaheen, and I--put this bipartisan program together in March. We added funding in April, and we extended it in June until August 8. The pandemic, unfortunately, is still forcing shutdowns and mitigation measures months later. Many of the small businesses that were sustained by their PPP loans are still unable to return to normal operations. Without more assistance, without being eligible for a second PPP loan, many of the hardest hit small businesses, including our restaurants, our gift shops, our hotels, and our B&Bs, will be forced to close their doors, and, worse yet, lay off their workers. That is why it is so important that we reach bipartisan agreement quickly to provide further assistance to small businesses and nonprofits that have been kept alive by their first PPP loan, that have been able to retain and pay their employees but now are still struggling to survive due to this persistent pandemic. The amendment that we are about to vote on would provide approximately $258 billion in funding to allow eligibility for a second PPP loan for the hardest hit small businesses and nonprofits, while also expanding and improving the program in some commonsense ways. This is all about keeping Americans employed. This amendment is endorsed by the NFIB, the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the International Franchise Association, HospitalityMaine, the United Fresh Produce Association, the National Fisheries Institute, and the International Foodservice Distributors Association. I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this important step to renew and strengthen the PPP program to save our small businesses and their employees' jobs. Thank you. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader. ____________________