During the Republican National Convention on Monday night, Tanya Weinreis said when the coronavirus pandemic broke out in the U.S., she was faced with the prospect that she might have to close her coffee business, which she owns with her husband.
However, the receipt of a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan helped Weinreis keep her business afloat, she said.
“My company was one of the first to receive a PPP loan and Praise God it has been a lifesaver,” Weinreis said. “Not only were we able keep every single employee, but we’ve been hiring weekly since.”
The PPP was designed to incentivize companies with fewer than 500 employees to keep staff despite difficult economic conditions that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic. Applicants were eligible to receive up to $10 million, which is forgivable in certain cases.
The window for submitting an application for the program closed earlier this month. More than 5.2 million loans were approved, valued at more than $525 billion. The average loan size, according to the Small Business Administration, is $100,729.
In recent weeks, lawmakers began discussions about a potential relief bill that included calls for a second round of PPP loans, targeted specifically at the country’s smallest businesses that have taken the hardest hit throughout the pandemic.
According to the legislation, about $190 billion worth of PPP funding would be made available to business owners with 300 employees or fewer whose revenue declined by at least 50 percent as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Democrats and Republicans, however, have been unable to reconcile a few major differences pertaining to the relief package overall, which has resulted in the talks breaking down.