Biden gives small firms exclusive access to paycheck program

biden gives small firms exclusive access to paycheck program

President Joe Biden said his administration is seeking to help small businesses by giving them exclusive access to the Paycheck Protection Program for two weeks, and he called on lawmakers to pass his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan to provide additional assistance.

From Feb. 24 through March 9, only businesses with fewer than 20 employees will be able to apply for relief through the program, which provides loans to pay workers.

“Small businesses are the engines of our economic progress,” Biden said Monday at the White House. “They’re getting crushed.” He said 400,000 small businesses have closed during the pandemic and “millions more are hanging by a thread.”

The Biden administration is seeking to boost the economy amid the pandemic by pushing his stimulus plan, which has run into opposition from GOP lawmakers who say it costs too much. Biden said the stimulus would provide $50 billion to help the hardest hit small businesses after the paycheck program expires.

“Critics say the plan is too big,” Biden said of his rescue plan. “Let me ask the rhetorical question: What would you have me cut? What would you leave out?”

Democrats are beginning the final push for Biden’s stimulus this week, dropping any pretense of bipartisanship to quickly pass the package before an earlier round of benefits runs out…

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