Washington — President Biden on Tuesday signed an extension for the popular Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was created last year to help small businesses weather the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The deadline to apply for a PPP loan has been extended from March 31 to May 31, and the law extends authorization of loans to June 30 to give the Small Business Administration additional time to process applications.

“It is a bipartisan accomplishment,” Mr. Biden said in remarks at the bill signing at the White House on Tuesday. “Without somebody signing this bill today, there are hundreds of thousands of people who could lose their jobs, and small family businesses that might close forever.”

Mr. Biden thanked Democratic Senators Ben Cardin and Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Susan Collins for helping to shepherd the bill through Congress, where it received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. The bill extending the deadline passed the House by a vote of 415 to 3, and was approved in the Senate by a vote of 92 to 7.

As of March 28, the program has approved more than 8.7 million loans totaling more than $734 billion since it was created last year, according to Small Business Administration data. For all 2021 loans by the program, 78.4% are for $50,000 and under, and the average loan is $59,000.