Surprise second wave of coronavirus stimulus cash offered to small businesses with $130billion now up for grabs

DEMOCRATS have secured a surprise second wave of coronavirus stimulus cash worth $130billion for struggling small businesses.

One senator was so stoked about the unexpected win, he took a victory lap around the Republican-controlled Senate late Tuesday night.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer did a victory lap after the program was extended
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Democrats pushed for the temporary extension of the popular subsidy program for small firms, as spikes in coronavirus cases in many states are causing renewed shutdowns of bars and other businesses.

The multi-billion-dollar lending program will now continue to offer a lifeline just as it was due to expire.

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Small Business Committee, asked for unanimous approval of the extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through to August 8.

Minority lawmakers are hardly ever successful in such attempts, points out the Associated Press.

However, the pressure swayed Republicans, who have delayed consideration of a fifth coronavirus relief bill and are preparing to go home for a two-week recess.

About $130 billion remains of $660 billion approved so far for the subsidy program.

Thrilled Sen Chuck Schumer tweeted about the win for small firms

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York took a victory lap after the unexpectedly successful maneuver, saying renewed economic troubles are reviving interest in the scheme.

He said: “There are large numbers of businesses who are going to need to apply now.

“Had this program run out today, they would have been out of luck.

“Now with this renewal, short time, August 8, they at least get the chance to reapply.”

A delighted Schumer also tweeted: “We just demanded to pass a bill to extend PPP so that small businesses can continue to get the help they need.

“And it passed the Senate!”

Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware is worried about the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on small firms in the US

Democrat Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware told reporters: “There are millions of small businesses that are barely open now.

“With the likelihood of either renewed closures or much slower reopenings, we have literally millions of small businesses nationwide at risk.”

It gives direct subsidies to businesses rocked by the deadly pandemic, which has slammed the economy as consumers and workers were forced to stay at home through much of spring.

The subsidies come in the form of federal loans that can be forgiven if businesses follow rules such as using 60 per cent of the loan for payroll costs.

The loans been a lifeline to more than four million businesses.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers that a full economic recovery is unlikely until people feel safe going out and about.

Congress has signed off on roughly $3 trillion in aid so far, but Powell and other Fed policymakers have said more will be needed.

The Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration have handed out $515 billion since April to help cash-strapped companies make rent and keep workers employed.

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