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Morelle says bolstering Payroll Protection Program is a priority

Ensuring every small business has access to Paycheck Protection Program funding will be imperative as Congress considers additional action to bolster economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Rep. Joe Morelle said Wednesday.

Rep. Joe Morelle.

Rep. Joe Morelle.

Morelle said that while the Payroll Protection Program contained in the $2.3 trillion CARES Act provided up to $349 billion in forgivable loans, it’s quite likely that more money will be necessary.

“It’s a priority for us to extend it,” Morelle, D-Irondequoit,  said during a webinar with the Rochester business community sponsored by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.

He said an additional $150 billion to $250 billion are the numbers being considered. He also wants the scheduled end date of June 30 to be extended to 30 days after the national emergency officially ends.

While President Donald Trump hopes to soon start phasing in a reopening of the U.S. economy, it is expected to take longer for New York to join the parade, and it won’t be as simple as flipping a switch from off to on for all businesses.

“I think it will be a layering of industry on top of industry,” Morelle said.

Businesses that are shut down and have no employees working because of the pandemic may be able to receive adjustments in workers’ compensation premiums from the state Department of Financial Services, Chamber CEO and President Robert Duffy said.

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