LEWISVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Billions of dollars in relief for small businesses are going unused.
Under the Paycheck Protection Program, the federal government set aside $670 billion for forgivable small business loans.
After an initial rush on the loans, the demand has slowed. Many small businesses have also returned the money.
Business owners say they need money to keep their doors open, and in some cases to even reopen.
However, businesses say the restriction on the loans have not allowed them to use the money in the way they need it.
Thursday, the House passed a bill that eases those restrictions – giving small businesses owners more flexibility in how they can spend the money .
The House passed the bill 417-1.
On the House Floor, Rep. Chip Roy, (R) Austin, urged the Senate to quickly pass the bill.
“I hope the Senate will take this up and move it expeditiously so we can help businesses this week. There’s no reason to delay that,” he said.
Senators will not convene again until next week.
The plan would include:
– reducing the share of the money small business are required to spend on payroll from 75% to 60%
– extending the time businesses have to use the money from two months to six months
– pushing back the deadline to rehire workers from June 30 to December 31st
After being approved for PPP loans, Jason Boso, owner of the Twisted Root Burger Company, said he decided not to accept the loans because he said with the restrictions he would have had to spend nearly all the money before he could even reopen his restaurants.
“Under the current program guidelines it’s actually going to hurt my business and hurt my employees,” he explained.
Boso said if the Senate passes the changes, he would take on the loans and will likely be able to reopen some of his restaurants sooner.
Currently, the Truck Yard in The Colony is the only one of Boso’s more than a dozen local restaurants that’s open.