U.S. Senate passes new relief bill for small businesses

The U.S. Senate passed a bill providing nearly $500 billion in aid for small businesses and hospitals overwhelmed with seriously ill patients on Tuesday after an agreement was reached by Congress and the White House.

According to The Hill, the deal totals more than $480 billion and appropriates $320 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $60 billion of which is set aside for small lenders and community financial institutions. It also includes $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program; $25 billion for testing; and $75 billion for hospitals.

The bill comes after the Paycheck Protection Program, which helps small businesses keep workers on payroll and prevent the businesses from going under, ran out of money provided through the CARES Act last week.

After passage in the Senate on Tuesday, the bill now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives and could be voted on as soon as Thursday.

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