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Senate Passes $484 Billion Relief Package for Small Businesses

By Dave Kovaleski - Apr 22, 2020 at 5:27PM

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The package includes money for small lenders and hospitals for testing.

The U.S. Senate approved a $484 billion relief package for small businesses and hospitals on April 21. The stimulus is targeted at businesses that did not receive money from the initial $349 billion set aside in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that ran out after two weeks.

This new relief package includes about $320 billion for loans through the PPP. The loans would be "fee-free" up to $10 million for businesses and non-profits. Also, employers who keep their payroll throughout the coronavirus emergency may be forgiven payroll, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest payments for up to eight weeks.

A key difference with this package is that $60 billion is set aside for small and medium sized banks to lend out. That carve out wasn't part of the last package. Of that $60 billion, $30 billion will be distributed to banks with less than $10 billion in assets, and $30 billion will be allocated to those with between $10 billion and $50 billion in assets.

Also, this package includes $60 billion in disaster loans and grants through the Disaster Loans Program Account. Agricultural companies will be eligible for these loans and grants.

The word Stimulus Package written in large letters, all capitalized.

Image source: Getty Images.

Finally, the package sets aside $100 billion for hospitals -- another feature that was not included in the first installment. Of that amount, $75 billion will provide financial support to hospitals to pay for expenses and lost revenue as they fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, an additional $25 billion will specifically go to help hospitals and healthcare centers buy testing equipment and conduct COVID-19 testing. "We recognize that accurate and available testing will be key to getting our businesses back online and our economy running," Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said.

The House of Representatives is expected to pass this package on Thursday, April 23.

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