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Both Democrats, GOP are now on board for a second wave of PPP loans



UNITED STATES - MARCH 21: Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., at a Senate Foreign Relations East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee hearing on "Rebalance to Asia: What Does It Mean For Democracy, Good Governance And Human Rights?" (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

On Monday, Senate Republicans announced their plan for another wave of the Paycheck Protection Program as a part of the HEALS Act. They want the “hardest hit small employers” to be able to get a second loan.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) said he’s largely on board with how the Republicans laid out their proposal during a Yahoo Finance interview on Tuesday.

Cardin noted that “there’s a lot of similarities” between his Democratic plan and the Republican plan.

Cardin has long pushed for a second wave of PPP loans and in an interview with Yahoo Finance in May said that “8 weeks is not going to be enough.” Cardin is the lead Democrat on the Senate’s Small Business Committee, overseeing the Small Business Administration and the program alongside Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

The PPP program was created with $349 billion in funding when the CARES Act was signed into law in March. It was then given $310 billion in additional funding in April. As of Monday, the program had given out almost $520 billion in forgivable loans.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., have been the key voices from each party in the creation and continuance of the Paycheck Protection Program. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

“When Senators Rubio, Cardin, Shaheen and I developed this program back in March, we had no idea how long economic closures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 would last,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in her remarks Monday. 

In the GOP plan, businesses with fewer than 300 employees that have seen revenue declines of 50% or more would get access to the loans. Cardin pointed to one negotiation point still to be ironed out: “The Republican bill has it at 300, our bill has it at 100 or less,” he said.

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Measures to simplify the forgiveness process

In addition to the option of a second loan, lawmakers also want to simplify the loan forgiveness process. According to a summary of the bill, borrowers will have significantly less paperwork to fill out, especially for loans under $150,000; but businesses must retain their records as the SBA reserves the right to “review and audit these loans to ensure against fraud.”

In a statement released shortly after Collins and Rubio spoke, Consumer Bankers Association President and CEO Richard Hunt called for more detail on how the loan forgiveness process would work. Hunt said that the most basic current process requires significant resources of a small business, and “Congress must improve the forgiveness language by providing crystal-clear, prescriptive guidance.”

Cardin has pushed the SBA to be more transparent about the program. “I look forward to receiving additional information collected during the loan forgiveness process to help us better understand how PPP is reaching small businesses in underserved communities,” he recently said.

Other provisions

The GOP plan also includes new provisions for what businesses can spend PPP money on. Sen. Collins noted that businesses will be able to use funds for things like improving their HVAC system, buying masks or plexiglass shields, or adding outdoor seating to encourage social distancing.

NEW YORK – JULY 27: An outdoor dining area is seen as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on July 27, 2020 in New York City. Many restaurants have built outdoor seating on the streets in order to allow for social distancing between patrons. The fourth phase allows outdoor arts and entertainment, sporting events without fans and media production. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

A summary of the plan notes other allowed uses like upgrading human resource or accounting systems or costs related to recent social unrest.

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The GOP plan would also set aside money for employers that have 10 employees or fewer “to make sure that the money doesn’t run out without that group of small businesses getting the assistance they need,” Rubio said recently. Cardin has also signaled a focus on micro-businesses with 10 employees or fewer.

Even if both sides reach agreement on the final details of the PPP loans, implementation will almost surely have to wait for a larger  – and much more thorny – stimulus bill to be negotiated. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has warned that the process could take weeks.

Aug. 8 is a key deadline for lawmakers focused on the PPP – as it stands now, that’s when the program will no longer be able to accept new applications. However long the wait, Cardin is optimistic that “if we can get a bill to the finish line, that it will include a second round for PPP.”

Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.

Read more:

Coronavirus stimulus checks: Many Americans would get more in GOP’s second round of payments

U.S. Democrats to seek passage of PPP transparency bill: Schumer

New bill would allow small businesses to get second PPP loan

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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