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U.S. Senate Passes $484B Aid Bill

The U.S. Senate has approved yet another coronavirus relief package, this one worth $484 billion that will replenish a loan program to help small businesses suffering from coronavirus pandemic economic fallout and also provide funds for hospitals and testing.

The measure passed by voice vote. The House is expected to follow suit Thursday.

In the agreement reached by the White House and congressional leaders, $320 billion of the total will be used toward the Paycheck Protection Program, which offers guarantees for forgivable loans to small businesses if a majority of the money is used to retain employees.

About a fifth of the funding for the small-business loan program, $60 billion, would be set aside for smaller lenders.

The bill would also add $60 billion for the Small Business Administration’s disaster relief fund — $50 billion for loans and $10 billion for grants — and farms and other ag-related businesses will be eligible. There's also $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing.

The PPP, as it is known, ran through its initial $349 billion worth of funding quickly, leaving many businesses empty handed.

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