U.S. Congress reached a deal on a roughly $480 billion coronavirus relief funding package to continue helping small business and hospitals, and expand COVID-19 testing. This new funding package comes after the initial funds set aside for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) were exhausted in just two weeks — due to over 1.66 million loans for more than $342 billion. The Senate has approved the deal, and now it goes to the House.
Although the full text of the bill has not been released to the public, there are some details we know from a copy retrieved by CNN. For instance, the deal will authorize the Paycheck Protection Program to spend an additional $310 billion to replace the previous $349 billion that has run dry. Of this money, $60 billion will be set aside for smaller lending facilities, including community financial institutions, small insured depository institutions and credit unions with assets less than $10 billion.
Other support for small businesses includes a $10 billion for grants under the Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, $50 billion for disaster recovery loans and $2.1 billion for additional salaries and SBA expenses.
In addition, the new funding will go to bolstering the healthcare industry. In fact, $75 billion has been set aside for hospitals and health care providers,whose resources have been stretched thin by the pandemic, to address coronavirus expenses and lost revenue. An additional $25 billion will go towards facilitating and expanding COVID-19 testing, such as “necessary expenses to research, develop, validate, manufacture, purchase, administer and expand capacity for COVID-19 tests,” as reported by CNN.
Of the amount dedicated to COVID-19 testing, $11 billion given to states and localities “to develop, purchase, administer, process and analyze COVID-19 tests.” Other entities will receive the remainder, including federal agencies, to invest in promising new technologies and distribution to labs.
Read more about the new coronavirus relief package here!