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Trump signs Axne-sponsored bill to improve small business COVID-19 relief

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WASHINGTON – On Friday, President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) that will improve Iowa small business owners’ ability to utilize coronavirus (COVID-19) relief programs.

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act was advanced by Rep. Axne and over 400 of her colleagues in the House last week, and passed the Senate unanimously on Wednesday.

“I’m glad to see these important fixes for the Paycheck Protection Program get signed into law. With these changes, we can ensure that the critical relief we’ve made available for our small businesses actually works for those who are using it,” said Axne. “I’ve heard firsthand from Iowa’s restaurant owners, service sector workers, and event planning industry about the difficulty they’ve had navigating the rigid rules for loan forgiveness. With these changes, we can ensure that businessowners have the flexibility to use relief funds to suit their workforce and industry’s needs.”

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act makes critical changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will provide additional flexibility for businesses trying to stay afloat, including:

Allowing forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period, ensuring businesses can spread their PPP loans over the full course of the crisis as it affects their revenue
Extending the term of the loan to 5 years, to allow for the possibility that businesses in sectors like entertainment and event planning experience longer recovery periods adjusting restrictions limiting non-payroll expenses to 25% of loan proceeds, allowing smaller Iowa businesses to cover higher relative costs for rent, mortgage, or utilities ensuring full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans, allowing businesses access to both forms of relief without penalty.

Last month, Axne spoke to restaurant owners about the burdens they are still feeling from the COVID-19 crisis, and shared some of the changes that are included in today’s legislation.

Axne alsowrote to congressional leaders to request improved assistance for Iowa’s small businesses, and cited the need to expand the 8-week timeline for businesses who may experience longer recovery times.

The legislation has been endorsed by the National Restaurant Association, National Small Business Association, National Federation of International Business, Small Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers.

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