Paycheck Protection Program

via Summer Allen

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, retail and restaurant owners are still suffering. Many are open or partly open, but cash flow is way down and rent is becoming a major concern.

Scattered through the $2 trillion federal CARES act are dozens of tax changes aimed at softening the economic blow caused by the pandemic. Maine lawmakers now need to decide which of those changes should be incorporated in the state’s tax laws.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

As talks in Congress continue toward another round of pandemic relief, U.S. independent Sen. Angus King of Maine is pushing for help targeted at seasonal businesses.

PORTLAND, Maine - A federal program criticized by Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon for helping special interests and large corporations provided a forgivable loan of between $1 million and $2 million to her husband's law firm.

President Trump signed legislation Saturday extending the deadline for small businesses to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, enacted in the weeks following the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The original deadline to apply for the PPP was this past Tuesday night. But $130 billion still remained in the fund, out of $660 billion allocated. Both houses of Congress approved the extension unanimously earlier this week. With Trump's signature Saturday, businesses will now have until Aug. 8 to apply for the assistance.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public File

Maine's Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says those three sectors have been underserved by the federal pandemic relief programs.

Al Drago / AP Images

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is urging the Trump Administration to support another round of forgivable Paycheck Protection Programs (PPP) loans for small businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

More than 25,000 businesses in Maine have been approved to receive more than $2 billion in loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

ANDREW HARNIK / AP

U.S. independent Sen. Angus King held a telephone town meeting Tuesday to take questions about the government response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Maine Public File

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden says he supports the latest stimulus bill to address the economic problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but he says there is still more to be done.

Maine Public File

House members return to Washington this week to vote on the economic stimulus bill that was just passed in the Senate.

Wikimedia File

Talks between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the next round of funding to help mitigate the coronavirus pandemic continue this weekend. Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins is cautiously optimistic a deal can be reached.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Thousands of Maine fishermen and others in the seafood sector could have qualified for pandemic relief through the Paycheck Protection Program, but many were, apparently, unable to access the benefits before the money ran out.

Courtesy Andrew Volk

The Paycheck Protection Program loans overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration are some of the first federal financial efforts aimed at easing the economic burden placed on people by the current pandemic. But some small business owners say the rollout and the loan itself don't quite benefit people as intended. Andrew Volk owns the restaurant, Portland Hunt + Alpine Club. Volk discussed his experience with Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.