By Lenore Fedow
President Donald Trump signed a temporary extension of the Paycheck Protection Program into law, extending the application deadline to Aug. 8 from June 30.
Washington, D.C.—President Donald Trump signed a temporary extension of the Paycheck Protection Program into law Saturday, pushing back the deadline for small businesses to apply for a loan.

The legislation moved the deadline to Aug. 8 from June 30.

The extension received approval both in the Senate and the House.

The program was first signed into law in March as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which provided $2 trillion in aid to keep small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Set up by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the PPP offers forgivable loans to cover payroll for small businesses with 500 or fewer employees.

The program ran through its $350 billion in funds as applications piled up and was replenished with an additional $310 billion.

In June, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act with the goal of addressing the problems that plagued the program’s rocky rollout.

In its opening days, the PPP was fraught with issues for banks and businesses alike and took heat after reports that money was going to big business as mom-and-pop stores struggled.

Hundreds of publicly traded companies received millions in coronavirus aid earmarked for small businesses.

The backlash led recipients Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steak House to return the millions they had received from the program.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke out against the big businesses receiving funds at a White House briefing, and the SBA followed by issuing guidance to deter that from happening again.

Mnuchin initially said the White House would not disclose the names of program participants, though Democrats continued to push for more transparency.

The Treasury Department and the SBA then said they would release the names of businesses who received PPP loans of $150,000 or more, sharing that partial list Monday.

While loans for more than $150,000 represent around three-fourths of the total loan dollars approved, that segment represents a minority percentage of the total number of loans.

Nearly 87 percent of loans approved were for less than $150,000, as per the SBA. The average loan is for $107,000.

“Today’s release of loan data strikes the appropriate balance of providing the American people with transparency, while protecting sensitive payroll and personal income information of small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors,” Mnuchin said in a statement.

By industry, the largest share of PPP money went to health and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical services, construction and manufacturing.

The retail trade came in sixth, sending in 450,181 applications and receiving $40.36 billion, or nearly 8 percent of net dollars.

By state, California received the most money with $68.2 billion, for about 4.1 million employees.

Texas is in second place with $41.1 billion and 2.7 million employees, followed by New York at $38.3 billion and 2 million employees.

Small businesses, as defined by the U.S. Census, employ 59.9 million people in the U.S.

Between 72 percent to 96 percent of estimated small business payroll was covered by PPP loans across all 50 states, said the SBA.

Companies in rural areas received 15 percent of the funds while those in areas the SBA described as economically distressed received 23 percent of the money.

“Today’s data shows that small businesses of all types and across all industries benefited from this unprecedented program,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza in a statement.

Carranza pointed to last week’s improved unemployment numbers as evidence that “PPP is working by keeping employees on payroll and sustaining millions of small businesses through this time.”

The SBA said it approved 4.9 million loans, totaling more than $521 billion. There are $131.91 billion in funds remaining.

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