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PIA National Praises House Passage of Bill to Add Funds to CARES Act Programs

Action follows Senate passage.
April 23, 2020

WASHINGTON -- The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National) praised today’s passage of H.R. 266 by a vote of 388-5. The legislation provides $320 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which ran out of funds last week. Also included is $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion to broaden virus testing. The U.S. Senate passed the bill by voice vote April 21, and the president has said he will sign it into law.

The PPP section of the CARES Act provides businesses with low interest loans, which, under certain circumstances, can be converted into grants. The loans are to be used to help keep employees on the payroll and to protect small businesses from insolvency due to shutdowns prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“More funding for the PPP is urgently needed to provide small businesses relief from the economic damage resulting from COVID-19,” said PIA National Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile. “These loans are providing a vital source of liquidity to more than a million individually and family-owned businesses.”

The Small Business Administration ran out of money to fund the PPP provision of the CARES Act in less than two weeks and has been unable to fulfill successful PPP applications since, which necessitated this interim funding measure. While this is technically the fourth piece of legislation passed by Congress in response to the coronavirus, this bill did not create new programs to help small businesses; rather, it added more funding to the programs created or enhanced by the CARES Act.

“PIA National is also working with the business and insurance communities on a legislative proposal to create a Recovery Fund for businesses and employees, and we hope that fund will be created in the next coronavirus legislation,” Gentile said. “We are also continuing our advocacy against business interruption proposals, which are replete with unworkable provisions and are inadequate to help all businesses in need during this crisis.”

PIA National will continue to work with Congress and the business community on effective, efficient solutions that provide the necessary relief to our economy and help our nation recover.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA’s web address is www.pianet.com.

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