Small businesses will now have up to 24 weeks to use Paycheck Protection Program loans received during the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline was raised from eight weeks after the Senate unanimously approved the extension Wednesday.

The extension legislation has already been approved by the House of Representatives and now moves to President Donald Trump for approval, reported Reuters.

Loans given out under the PPP can turn into grants if small businesses adhere to certain conditions. One of the conditions mandates that the loan be spent within a set time frame.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin told Reuters that the program has given out 4.4 million forgivable loans so far, which are valued at $510 billion.

Congress extended $659 billion towards the PPP program, a part of the wider $3 trillion coronavirus stimulus.

Cardin said that gyms, museums, caterers, and other such small businesses were constrained by the eight-week requirement and needed more time to meet their obligations under the program.

The bill also gives businesses additional flexibility in using PPP funds for purposes other than payroll expenses.

Congress is likely to debate additional relief measures in the coming weeks, particularly those that would provide more federal funding to state and local governments suffering from a drop in revenues but having to provide more services amid lockdowns.

This story originally appeared on Benzinga.

© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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One response to “Senate Passes Bill Extending Time to Use Paycheck Protection Loans”

  1. Anyone know why this bill (and the previous) did not include contractors? I am self-employed and provide a service to local businesses. Because I’m not on their payrolls, I’m laid off for another 6 months.

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