As the calendar takes us deeper into March, the current iteration of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is closer to its scheduled March 31 expiration – but reports of its death may be exaggerated as pressure is building nationally to extend the program. With the House passing the American Rescue Act of 2021 without an extension of the PPP last week – and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promising to pass the COVID relief legislation this week (the Senate voted 50-50 last night to bring the bill to the floor with VP Harris breaking the tie) – small business interests are urging an extension in keeping with the expressed goals of the Biden administration. The US Chamber of Commerce confirmed this week that it is repeating a request the organization sent to Congress and the White House back in a February 2 letter. In it, the Chamber, now joined by a number of non-profit organizations, urges that the PPP March 31 deadline be extended in order to facilitate continued assistance to and economic recovery of devastated small businesses and non-profit organizations across the country. Those small business owners who’ve yet to access the Paycheck Protection Program for either a first or second draw forgivable loan are urged to apply immediately, as the application process – currently open only to businesses with fewer than 20 employees – will again open up to larger business entities effective Wednesday, March 10.