On Thursday, March 25, the Senate passed HR 1799, the PPP Extension Act of 2021, by a vote of 92-7; the bill passed the House on March 16. This bipartisan bill extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) deadline to apply for an additional two months, through May 31, and gives SBA lenders an additional 30 days to process those applications. The legislation was introduced in the House by Representatives Bourdeaux (D-GA), Kim (R-CA), Velazquez (D-NY) and Luetkemeyer (R-MO), and companion legislation (S. 723) was introduced in the Senate by Senators Collins (R-ME), Cardin (D-MD) and Shaheen (D-NH).
NAR was a strong advocate of this legislation. Without it, the PPP would close to new applicants on March 31, despite still having funding for new loans. PPP has been a lifeline for many small businesses, independent contractors, and sole proprietors – including many REALTORS® - since the beginning of the pandemic. It was extended with $284.5 billion in funding by the FY 2021 Appropriations Act (passed in December) and received an additional $7.25 billion from the American Rescue Plan. At this crucial point in the pandemic – when many small businesses are mere weeks away from being able to function more normally – NAR is thankful that Congress wisely chose not to cut off this important aid program which could help many cross that finish line.