The US Senate recently passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act after its quick success in the House last week. This act extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) so that small businesses receiving emergency loans under the PPP are allowed up to 2 years to qualify for loan forgiveness.

The act extends the term for the forgiveness of emergency loans from 8 weeks to 24 weeks or until the end of the calendar year. It also gives small businesses 5 years to repay any money owed and reduces the amount that must be used for payroll from 75% to 60%.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) released a statement expressing their strong support for this measure passed in the Senate, which is now on its way to receive the president’s signature.

“This is an important victory for local pharmacies that are trying to position their businesses as part of the economic recovery, even as they battle the pandemic,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, in a press release.

NCPA had advocated for the inclusion of independent pharmacies in the original PPP and was successful. A recent NCPA survey demonstrated that 96% of independent pharmacies applied for the PPP loans and 99% of these applicants were successful in receiving funding.

“The original law was designed to get small businesses through the initial economic shock,” Hoey said in the press release. “It’s clear that the economy will take much longer to recover, so extending the PPP is very important. Local pharmacies are being battered by COVID-19’s impact on the economy. They are critical to the country’s health care infrastructure during normal times and during national emergencies.”

Independent Pharmacies Applaud PPP Extension. Alexandria, VA: National Community Pharmacists Association; June 3, 2020. Accessed June 4, 2020.