33 million have sought US unemployment aid since virus hit

A man writes information in front of Illinois Department of Employment Security in Chicago on April 30, 2020. U.S. businesses cut an unprecedented 20.2 million jobs in April, an epic collapse with coronavirus outbreak closing the offices, factories, schools, construction sites and stores that propel the U.S. economy. The Wednesday, May 6, report from payroll company ADP showed the tragic depth and scale of job losses that left no part of the world’s largest economy unscathed. 

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner has co-sponsored legislation to double the loan period for the Paycheck Protection Program from eight to 16 weeks.

“Small businesses in Colorado have received more than $10 billion in assistance from the PPP to keep the lights on and workers on payroll,” said Gardner. “As the country slowly ramps back up, it’s clear that we must extend the time businesses have to rehire and spend their PPP dollars.”

The popular program allows for forgivable loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration, in which businesses must use at least 75% of the money to cover payroll costs. If a company maintains its payroll over the eight week period, the loan is forgiven.

The bill also changes the deadline for rehiring any employees who were furloughed to enable a business to participate in the program. Originally June 30, the rehiring date would instead be 16 weeks after the origination of the PPP loan.

Through two rounds of congressional funding, the program has amounted to more than $500 billion in available funding for coronavirus relief. CBS News reports that demand for loans has been falling due to businesses finding out that they are ineligible, they do not have proper documentation of payroll, or they have access to other means of staying afloat.

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