Billions of dollars in CARES law funding will expire on December 30

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INDIANAPOLIS – With billions of dollars expiring in just over a month, Congress must now decide what to do with the unused paycheck protection program money.

The PPP loan was part of the first round of coronavirus relief funds. It was part of the CARES Act – an economic stimulus bill with a deadline of December 30.

“The reason it wasn’t spent is because it was for a very specific purpose,” said Dr. Matthew Will, associate professor of finance at the University of Indianapolis.

Dr Will said PPP loans have some restrictions and can only be used for salaries, rent and mortgage expenses.

“If you’ve set aside a certain amount of money to fix your car and your car is now fixed, but you put too much money aside… well, that’s what we have,” said Dr Will. “We have $ 455 billion left… we have allocated too much.

He said Congress was divided over how to reallocate that money – Republicans want the money to go directly to small business loans, while Democrats want the money to go to individual states. Dr Will said he would like the two parts to be somewhere in the middle.

“If you are eligible for unemployment benefits, it is unfortunate that the state does not have enough money for unemployment,” said Dr Will. “There seems to be a consensus that maybe what we should do with this money is help the unemployed by replenishing the unemployment funds.”

According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, 729,134 Hoosiers have received some form of federal unemployment assistance funds, totaling $ 5.9 billion.

Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate is improving from 6.3% in September to 5% in October.

“We are almost back to full employment. Many people envision between 4% and 5% full employment, ”said Dr Will. “Looks like we’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and maybe we’ll be back to a strong economy in 3-4 months.”

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