US President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a law extending financial support for small businesses for two-months, one day before the relief fund was set to expire.
"It is a bipartisan accomplishment," Biden said about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was extended to May 31. He said it would help small businesses, especially the Hispanic and Black population.
The Senate voted 92-7 last week to extend the deadline for the PPP Extension Act of 2021 from March 31 after the House of Representatives passed the measure.
"Nearly 90,000 business owners are still in line. Without signing this bill today there are hundreds of thousands of people who could lose their jobs and small family businesses might close forever," he said at the White House. "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, representing almost 50% of all employees."
He noted that the government in the last two months has approved forgivable loans for 3.6 million small businesses, while 3.3 million had fewer than 20 employees.
Congress has approved more than $800 billion in PPP loans to support businesses and employees in the coronavirus pandemic-hit largest economy in the world.
By Ovunc Kutlu