In a major victory for small businesses across the nation, and restaurants in particular, the U.S. Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act on Wednesday evening and sent it to the President, who signed it into law late yesterday. The legislation (H.R. 7010), which passed the House last week by an overwhelming vote of 417 – 1, makes significant changes to the original loan forgiveness provisions of the PPP. Specifically, it increases the loan forgiveness period from 8 to 24 weeks; and reduces the loan proceeds threshold for payroll from 75% to 60 percent, while it also increases the loan repayment term from two to five years. In addition, the final bill also allows PPP recipients to utilize payroll tax deferral and extends the June 30 hiring deadline to December 31, 2020. Senate leadership, which was pushing to pass H.R 7010 by unanimous consent in order to get it to the President as quickly as possible, was able to salvage passage despite initial objections raised by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ron Johnson (R-WI). The two republican senators were concerned that moving the June 30 deadline would allow applications to continue past that date. Assured in a letter from Senate leadership that such was not the case, the two rescinded their objections and the bill was enacted on a voice vote.