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The American Supply Association (ASA) has recently joined its more than 90 coalition partners in supporting an extension of the Paycheck Protection Plan loan availability that was due to expire March 31. The Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill 92 to 7, and earlier this week President Biden signed the bill into law.
In a letter to senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and representatives Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA) and Andy Kim (D-NJ), ASA and its coalition partners thanked those elected officials for swift bipartisan action to provide relief to American small businesses through the continued economic emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition supports the PPP Extension Act of 2021 that extends the Small Business Administration's PPP application period beyond the original March 31 sunset date.
"While we realize the SBA is under tremendous time constraints and is struggling with internal resource issues, our members are highly concerned by the lack of progress on major PPP processing issues, including hold/error codes and application rejections due to Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) issues or mismatches, in addition to many unresolved technical problems with the current PPP process," the coalition wrote. "These delays and denials may put many applicants in danger of not making the March 31 authorization deadline."
The coalition went on to explain that nearly one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, "the continued liquidity challenges of the small business sector are acute, especially for those businesses limited by dramatic capacity restrictions and other critical health and safety protocols in place to protect the public, consumers and workers from COVID-19."
The coalition went on to further thank elected officials for extending the window of opportunity "for pandemic programs to effectively impact the affected small business sector, especially those traditionally under-invested and underserved groups that must also be given the chance to succeed," it wrote.
Last June, ASA members urged Congress to enact the PPP Flexibility Act — bipartisan legislation drafted in response to an SBA announcement reiterating that program forgiveness and use rules would not be changed.
President Trump signed the PPP Flexibility Act into law June 5. The act modifies provisions related to the forgiveness loans under the PPP, allowing recipients of loan forgiveness under the PPP to defer payroll taxes.
ASA action on the PPP Flexibility Act came after thousands of ASA members from across the country contacted their federal legislators in recent weeks at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The action resulted in ASA's industry being included in federal essential industry recommendations, enabling members to provide essential plumbing, heating, cooling and supply services to their respective communities.