President Donald Trump signed legislation June 5 to make it easier for businesses or churches struggling during the coronavirus pandemic to take advantage of a payroll subsidy program that’s been a critical part of Washington’s response to the economic crisis.
The legislation gives employers more flexibility to use taxpayer subsidies for other costs and extends the lifespan of the Payroll Protection Program as the economy slowly begins to recover. It passed the House on a 417-1 vote and was approved by the Senate on June 3.
It increases the loan forgiveness period from eight to 24 weeks, reduces the payroll requirement from 75 percent to 60 percent, raises the loan repayment period from two to five years, and extends the June 30 rehiring deadline.
The remaining 40 percent can be used for mortgage payments, rents and utilities. It also adds some limited flexibility on the number of employees that must be maintained. And, after the forgiveness is applied, if there is still a loan to be repaid, the minimum maturity for the loan is now five years.
Congress has approved $660 billion for the program in two installments.