U.S. Sen.John Boozman of Arkansas said Tuesday he supported the Senate’s approval of $320 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to assist Arkansas small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.


A recent survey of Arkansas Bankers Association members found that applications in limbo due to the program’s depleted funding total more than $1.1 billion.


“The Paycheck Protection Program is an important tool to help Arkansas small businesses remain operational during the coronavirus pandemic and viable in the future. The restoration of funding to this program will support workers and small businesses in the Natural State and all across America. I urge the House of Representatives to quickly approve this funding so we can provide immediate relief to small businesses facing financial hardships,” Boozman said in a news release.


The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers the PPP. According to the SBA, it has approved more than 21,000 loans worth more than $2.7 billion to Arkansas small businesses.


The PPP was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Boozman supported. It provides low-interest loans to small businesses to use for payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities, with a portion of the loan eligible for forgiveness.


Small business owners can find local SBA-approved lenders at https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find.