The United States House of Representatives is set to vote today on a $484 billion relief package that has already passed the Senate.
If passed, the bipartisan deal will allocate another $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a program designed to extend loans to small businesses to aid in retaining employees during the pandemic.
The Senate approved the measure on April 21, five days after the program reached its initial cap on funding (on April 16). The original limit was $349 billion.
The deal will give $30 billion to small banks, community lenders and credit unions.
Why It's Important
In the initial round of funding, the construction industry specifically received more than any other industry—13.12% of loans went to small business contractors. Industry companies received 177,905 loans that amounted to almost $45 billion.
The next closest industries in terms of loans received were professional, scientific and technical services (208,360 loans approved), manufacturing (108,863), and health care and social assistance (183,542).
Although construction is still considered "essential work," project delays and city and statewide shutdowns have created a strain on cash flow coming in for contractors—especially affecting small businesses.
The bill also specifically allocates $60 billion to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which would provide funding for small businesses in underserved areas of the U.S. Seventy-five billion will go to hospitals and $25 billion will be used to expand COVID-19 testing capabilities.