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Rep. Yvette Clarke Fights for Brooklyn’s Small Businesses by Improving Paycheck Protection Program

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke  (NY-09) voted to pass a critical, bipartisan bill to deliver further relief for New York small businesses. The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010) solves urgent issues with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) facing small business owners in Brooklyn and across the country who are struggling the most because of the coronavirus.

Clarke said: “I have been hearing from small business owners through central and south Brooklyn who are in desperate need of assistance as the coronavirus crisis continues to take a devastating toll on the economy. The ongoing crisis requires us to provide urgently-needed fixes to the PPP program so that the most vulnerable small businesses, especially minority- and women-owned businesses have the flexibility to receive the assistance they urgently need.”

Many small businesses across America have reported that the current limit in the PPP program of only 25 percent of loan proceeds being used for non-payroll expenses, like rent, prevents them from applying for PPP loans. For many small businesses, such as small independent restaurants, their rent or mortgage interest tends to be significantly more than 25 percent of their total monthly expenses. This bill increases that percentage from 25 percent to 40 percent.

The bipartisan PPP Flexibility Act will increase flexibility and access to PPP loans including by:

  • allowing forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period to 24 weeks and extending the rehiring deadline;
  • increasing the current limitation on non-payroll expenses (such as rent, utility payments and mortgage interest) for loan forgiveness from 25 to 40 percent;
  • extending the program from June 30 to December 31;
  • extending loan terms from two to five years; and
  • ensuring full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans.

“The overwhelming scale of this health and economic crisis demands that we take decisive action to protect the health and safety of our communities and the economic well-being of workers and small businesses. I am committed to doing whatever is necessary to get Brooklyn’s small businesses and workers back on their feet who have suffered because of coronavirus,” Clarke said.

This legislation passed in the House of Representatives Thursday with a vote of 471-1.