On Wednesday, March 10, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing, “The Future of the Paycheck Protection Program.” In advance of the hearing, NAR submitted a letter to the Committee, thanking it for its focus on the important topic of PPP loans, and acknowledging the beneficial changes made to the program, including the new calculations for “Schedule C Filers” (independent contractors, sole proprietors, and the self-employed). NAR also made two requests: that the updated loan calculations for Schedule C filers be made retroactive to allow existing borrowers to get any difference in loan amount they would qualify for now versus when they applied; and, that the program be extended past the March 31st application deadline.
On March 11, the House Small Business Committee leadership – Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) – announced that they had reached a deal on “The Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act,” which extends the PPP deadline by two months, through May 31. Additional cosponsors are Rep. Bourdeaux (D-GA) and Rep. Kim (R-CA). In addition to extending the program through May, applications received by the deadline would get an additional 31 days to be processed. The House is expected to vote on and pass this bipartisan legislation the following week, at which point it will go to the Senate for consideration.
NAR has been consistently advocating for this extension, especially in light of the additional funding provided for the program by the December 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act ($284.5 billion) and the American Rescue Plan ($7.25 billion). As the nation gets closer to returning to a state of normalcy, and businesses are looking ahead to a time when they can reopen or return to normal operations, it is critical that Congress not cut off an aid program that can provide the relief necessary to get many of those businesses to that point. NAR will continue to support this bill as it moves through Congress and advocate for continued improvements to the PPP.