People walk along Broadway as the coronavirus keeps financial markets and businesses mostly closed on May 8, 2020 in New York City. [Photo/Agencies]
WASHINGTON - A US subsidy program for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was on Wednesday extended to Aug 8 from the June 30 deadline after the House's approval.
The House passed the temporary extension by voice vote without debate, so as to submit the legislation for signing by US President Donald Trump into law as soon as possible.
The extension came as many US states reported spikes in coronavirus infections, which have prompted a pause in or reverse of business reopenings, while the national COVID-19 tally is approaching 2.7 million.
The subsidy program was launched in March and modified twice afterwards, with around 130 billion US dollars out of an approved total of 660 billion being currently available for businesses to seek direct federal subsides for payroll and other costs.
The relief measure, in the form of federal loans, is part of a federal response to the coronavirus pandemic worth around 3 trillion dollars, which was designed to help businesses survive virus restrictions.