Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

FAQs for Small Businesses

On March 27, 2020, The CARES Act was signed into law. This is a $2 trillion emergency relief package that provides immediate aid to those who have lost their jobs, businesses struggling to stay open and keep their employees working, and the thousands of brave healthcare providers at the forefront of this global outbreak.

Included in the CARES Act package is the Paycheck Protection Program, which seeks to assist small businesses struggling financially due to COVID-19. While designed to encourage small businesses to retain employees and keep them on payroll, this loan can also be used for payments toward interest on any mortgage obligation, rent, utilities, or interest on any other debt obligations incurred before 2/15/20.

On April 16, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program officially ran out of funds, which left millions of small businesses in limbo and without the resources necessary to stay afloat. Thankfully, on April 23, 2020, the House passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, providing additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program while also allocating additional resources to help hospitals and increase testing capabilities.

Here’s a document of the most frequently asked questions:

Haga clic aquí para leer esto en español.

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act passed, with my support, in the House on May 28. Today, it was signed into law by President Trump—giving small business owners more flexibility when using their PPP money. The original guidelines for the PPP can be found on my website.

Here are some things that changed for small businesses:

  • Only need to use 60% of the loan on payroll—down from 75%.
  • Can use the money for up to three times longer, rather than the original two months.
  • Can rehire employees past the original June 30th deadline.
  • Can repay the loans over a longer period of time.
  • Can defer payroll taxes and receive loan forgiveness.


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also compiled a list of programs providing financial assistance to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The bill also includes several small business provisions designed to help farmers stay in business and take care of their employees during this difficult time.

These include provisions that allow farmers to work with their trusted farm credit institutions for the purposes of securing payroll tax loans, along with 1-year deferrals, 100% guarantees, and low rates.  

Additional funding is provided for USDA agencies that are on the front lines of responding to COVID-19, including the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the Farm Service Agency (FSA).