Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King offer different PPP proposals

Published: May. 25, 2020 at 6:48 AM EDT
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Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King have introduced competing proposals to reform the Paycheck Protection Program.

The program, part of a $2.2 trillion federal stimulus package, provides businesses with forgivable loans so they can continue to pay staff while closed. Some business owners say the program doesn’t allow for enough flexibility.

Right now, 75% of funds must be used on payroll and all staff needs to be brought back by June 30 for loans to be forgiven.

Among other changes, Collins, who sponsored the original bill, wants to give businesses an additional two months to return to full staffing.

“Call them back as they reopen; send them checks even if they’re furloughed, so that the employer is still connected to the employees,” Collins said in an interview Friday.

King proposes giving businesses six months to bring staff back to work.

The senators agree: a primary concern is that tourism and hospitality based businesses might not have the customers to support returning employers in the original time-frame.

“Particularly hospitality where it doesn’t make sense to bring people back if you don’t have any customers,” King said.

Both senators want Paycheck Protection Program money to be able to be used on other things like personal protective equipment.

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