The Paycheck Protection and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs are getting replenished, which ASTA applauded on Tuesday. 

According to ASTA, an additional $310 billion will be added to the Paycheck Protection Program, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program will get an additional $50 billion. The Society expects the additional funding to pass in Congress this week.

ASTA commended congressional leadership and the Trump administration for quickly replenishing the funds. 

“While these programs are far from perfect, they have provided financial relief to some of our members, and the additional funding will mean more relief for more travel agencies,” ASTA said in a statement. “The need for increased funding is particularly acute, as member survey data show a large number of ASTA members have thus far been unable to access relief under either program, which we view as unacceptable.”

An ASTA survey of 700 members administered from April 17 to 20 found that 66% applied for the Paycheck Protection Program. Twenty percent had been approved for a loan, and 84% found the process of applying at least somewhat difficult (39.9% reported it was very difficult). Nearly 40% of the respondents found trouble finding a financial institution willing to accept their application.

The same survey found that 63.7% of respondents applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Only 7.1% were approved for a loan, and 66.5% found the process at least somewhat difficult.

ASTA said its focus will continue to be securing as much financial relief for as many members as possible.

“We will also support any and all measures to renew consumer confidence in the U.S. economy and in the travel industry in particular, such as widespread, consistent and quick coronavirus testing and work toward an eventual vaccine,” the Society said. “Doing so will help instill consumer confidence and get America’s economy, and its intrepid travelers, moving again.”

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