You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Small businesses can use PPP loans for masks and reopening expenses like sneeze guards in proposed bill

CNBC logoCNBC 5/21/2020 Hugh Son
  • The U.S. small business relief program may be changed to allow borrowers to use their loans to buy personal protective equipment for workers and pay for upgrades needed to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents obtained by CNBC.
  • The proposed bill, a bipartisan effort led by Sen. Marco Rubio, would give small business owners more flexibility in how they use the loans, addressing several persistent complaints about the $660 billion effort.
  • It extends the window in which borrowers can deploy the funds to 16 weeks from the eight currently allowed and pushes the deadline to apply for the program to Dec. 31 from the current June 30, according to a draft of the legislation called the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act.
  • It would also "allow borrowers to use loan funds to purchase personal protective equipment for employees and to pay for adaptive investments needed to reopen safely," according to a summary of the bill. 
a man standing in front of a store: Assistant store manager Jesus Alvarez rings up groceries from behind a new plexiglass barrier at Ralphs Kroger grocery store after California issued a stay-at-home order in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Los Angeles. © Provided by CNBC Assistant store manager Jesus Alvarez rings up groceries from behind a new plexiglass barrier at Ralphs Kroger grocery store after California issued a stay-at-home order in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Los Angeles.

The U.S. small business relief program may be changed to allow borrowers to use their loans to buy personal protective equipment for workers and pay for upgrades needed to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents obtained by CNBC. 

The proposed bill, a bipartisan effort led by Sen. Marco Rubio, chairman of the Senate's small business committee, would give small business owners more flexibility in how they use the loans, addressing several persistent complaints about the $660 billion effort.

It extends the window in which borrowers can deploy the funds to 16 weeks from the eight currently allowed and pushes the deadline to apply for the program to Dec. 31 from the current June 30, according to a draft of the legislation called the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act.

It would also "allow borrowers to use loan funds to purchase personal protective equipment for employees and to pay for adaptive investments needed to reopen safely," according to a summary of the bill. 

These "adaptive investments include modifications to a commercial property to comply with public health guidelines from CDC and other relevant federal agencies" and can include "creating or expanding a drive-through window, physical barriers such as sneeze guards, ventilation system upgrades, etc."

Shutdowns in parts of the country hardest hit by the coronavirus have gone on for longer than anticipated when the PPP was created, causing business owners to question how effective the program would be. 

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from CNBC

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon