By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to extend the COVID-19 pandemic Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) until the end of May, giving small businesses more time to apply and the government more time to process requests.

The bill, passed on a vote of 92-7, has already been approved by the House of Representatives and now goes to Democratic President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it into law. The PPP provides loans to small businesses struggling to survive during the pandemic, which has led to millions of businesses curtailing operations or shutting down f…

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