Emergency loans to small businesses in Maine surpass $ 1 billion


More than 5,300 small businesses in Maine had been approved by Friday morning for emergency loans guaranteed by the federal government to keep workers on the payroll throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with total loan values ​​exceeding $ 1 billion of dollars.

U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, released a statement Friday saying 5,334 small businesses in Maine had been approved for more than $ 1 billion in forgivable loans through the Federal Paycheck Protection Program, co-authored by Collins. Dozens of Maine lending institutions are currently participating in the program, she said.

“These extremely high numbers speak for themselves,” Collins said in the statement. “This more than $ 1 billion emergency aid is great news for our state, and it will help thousands of small employers in Maine continue to pay their employees and avoid going out of business.”

Collins said the loan program, which has received bipartisan support, will help solve the cash flow problem small businesses face due to the economic damage caused by the coronavirus.

“Maine banks and credit unions work tirelessly to help small businesses and some nonprofits meet their financing needs,” she said. “I will continue to work closely with these financial institutions, the (US Small Business Administration) and the Treasury Department to ensure that this approved funding is disbursed as soon as possible.”

Paycheck Protection Program loans were created by the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act, written by Collins and Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Florida; Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire.

The loans are designed to help small employers continue to pay their workers for an eight-week period during the coronavirus pandemic. Loans will be canceled as long as employers keep their employees on the payroll. Some overheads, including utilities, are also included.

The legislation was included in the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) law and was enacted on March 27. About $ 350 billion has been set aside to fund the loans, and federal lawmakers debated this week whether to add an additional $ 250 billion. program funding.

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