Lawmakers continue to make progress on a potential second stimulus bill, but no official bill has been approved. 

And now, there is a potential silent deadline that if missed, would make it incredibly difficult for congress to approve a bill until September.

August 7th (Friday) is the last day the United States Senate convenes until September. If a bill is not approved by then, it would increase the level of difficulty for both Democrats and Republicans to come to a deal during the one month recess. 

So, how early can people in Erie expect to get another stimulus check or unemployment bonuses? According to national sources, it would depend on the time frame for the bill getting passed. 

Unemployment: Should a bill be passed on Friday, it is likely that by the end of August, the Labor Department would be able to start rolling out weekly bonuses once again. However, this would also depend on which weekly system gets passed. If the bonus is a set amount each week (ex: $600 per week per person), the time frame would remain. If it is moved to a percentage system, however, it "could take months to get the program running", according to Labor Department Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. 

However, if a bill is not passed until September, it could be October before eligible people on benefits could see the funds. 

Stimulus Checks: It is likely that if a bill would see approval Friday, that payments would start being mailed within the next week. This means that people in Erie and in PA could see a second stimulus payment as soon as the week of August 17th. 

On the other hand, should congress wait a month to pass the bill, it most likely would be the week of September 20th or later before people would receive their one time payment.

PPP Loans: This is a similar story as unemployment. Lendio Erie Franchise Owner John Fee says he would expect applications to be accepted "within a couple of days" after a bill is passed. However, this all depends on the date a bill would be crafted. 

And new data from the company IPC Global suggests that Erie may be in need of more funding from the Small Business Administration. 

Managing Partner Mark Meersman pointed out a specific number: jobs retained. According to IPC, Erie businesses wrote that they would be saving a combined 31,000+ jobs with these loans. 

Meersman knows the more jobs that are saved, the more likely a business will need more money to support payroll and other expenses. 

"I do believe from a few experiences firsthand that they do need to hone in the [PPP] program, to drive people to get back in a job", said Meersman. 

IPC noted that specifically, health and retail would most likely be the two industries in our area applying for the majority of PPP loans in a potential second stimulus bill. 

"Hospitals are, themselves, getting infected, so they're going to have to maybe over hire a little bit", Meersman said, noting the potential need for another loan. " Retail is, as we're already seeing, is a bust in the sense of the number of stores that are closing".

Fee says at the moment, he has about "500 loan applications waiting to go through". He believes that regionally, there could be as many as "10,000 or more" owners that will try to apply for PPP loan funding. 

The current proposal by the Senate would include $150 billion in PPP loan funding for the SBA. Businesses would be required to show at least a 50% decline in profit since the beginning of the pandemic to be eligible to apply. 

This story was supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.