Yellen Supports PPP Extension; Economic Recovery Progressing ‘Quickly,’ Powell Says

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee today, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the committee that she supports an extension of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, saying that “the economy is not in a place where small businesses that have been affected are able to thrive.”

Yellen said that since taking office, Treasury has been expediting relief to areas of greatest need. Treasury worked with SBA on several changes to the PPP, including removing student loan delinquency as a bar to receiving a PPP loan and allowing Schedule C filers to calculate their loan amounts based on gross income rather than net profit.

During the hearing, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell offered his thoughts on the economic outlook overall, noting that “the recovery has progressed more quickly than generally expected and looks to be strengthening. This is due in significant part to the unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy actions.” Powell added that some upward pressure on prices is expected in the near term but that he expects economic growth this year to be very strong.