After a stumbling start, the government’s centerpiece relief program for small businesses was closing down on Tuesday — although it may turn out to be a temporary hiatus.

In just three months, the Paycheck Protection Program handed out $520 billion in loans meant to preserve workers’ jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. But as new outbreaks spike across the country and force many states to rethink their plans to reopen businesses, the program had more than $130 billion still in its coffers.

It might not be gone for long, though. Late Tuesday, just a few hours before the program was scheduled to shut down, the Senate approved a five-week extension. It wasn’t clear when the House might take up the bill.

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