DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – More than $100 billion in relief from the federal government is still available for small businesses. However, the time to take advantage of these forgivable loans is quickly running out.
Small businesses have until June 30 to be approved for a forgivable loan under the Payment Protection Program (PPP).READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: When Might Your $1,400 Economic Relief Payment Arrive?
On Friday, Congress loosened the rules on the loans making it easier for businesses to meet the requirements to have the loan forgiven.
To qualify for forgiveness, borrowers now have six months to spend the PPP loan compared to two months.
The percentage of the loan that is required to be spent of payroll has also been dropped from 75% to 60% – giving businesses more flexibility on how they can use the money.
Congress also extended the repayment window of any portion of the loan not forgiven from two years to five years at 1% interest.READ MORE: Texas Teachers Are Making Surprise, In-Person Visits To Students Struggling With Online Learning
After an initial rush on the loans, demand for the loans has slowed in recent weeks in large part because many businesses have been concerned they may not meet the requirements to have the loans forgiven.
Shane Spillers, the owner of Eno’s Pizza and Tavern in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District, said the PPP loan his company received has provided stability during these unprecedented times as a restaurant owner.
With the loan, Spillers said he was able to avoid layoffs and bring back more furloughed workers quicker.
Spillers said the extension from eight weeks to 24 weeks to spend the loan has been a “game changer” and will result in more of his loan being forgiven.
According to a survey of Texas businesses by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, 78% of business owners said the PPP loan prevented layoffs and/or furloughs and 66% said it prevented wage reductions.MORE NEWS: 'The Right Thing To Do,' Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Requests ERCOT To Rectify $16 Billion Error During Storm
Texas businesses have received more than $40 billion from the federal program – second in total loan amount only to California.