So far, 5,334 small businesses in Maine have been approved for more than $1 billion in forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, according to a news release from the office of Sen. Susan Collins.
Dozens of Maine lending institutions are currently participating in the program.
Paycheck Protection Program loans were created by the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act, which was authored by Senator Collins along with Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to help small employers continue to keep paying their workers for an eight week period during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These loans will be forgiven so long as employers keep their workers on payroll. Certain overhead expenses, including utilities, are also included.
The legislation was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and signed into law on March 27.