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.
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.