Mark Cuban offers to help small businesses secure PPP loans after saying program 'didn't work'

NBA team owner and 'Shark Tank' star had criticized program

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Mark Cuban on Wednesday offered to help small businesses, particularly those owned by minorities and women, secure government-backed loans through the Paycheck Protection Program.

"If you are a minority or woman owned, or any company that believes you are eligible for a PPP loan, but have not been approved, please post an overview of your status here and I will do my best to connect you to a bank," he wrote in a tweet to his 7.9 million followers. "There is still more than $100B left. Let's get that money."

Cuban's comments came just a few days after he criticized the program, an integral part of the massive economic-relief package signed by Congress at the end of March, for not distributing the aid fast enough.

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Under the program, businesses that employ fewer than 500 workers can receive loans of up to $10 million. If at least 75 percent of the money goes toward maintaining pre-crisis payroll levels, the federal government will forgive it.

"The money was supposed to be quickly in the hands of small businesses so they wouldn’t have the need to lay anybody off," he told FOX Business during an interview Monday night. "And then hopefully, within eight weeks, everybody thought we might be back to normal. But because that money wasn’t funded quickly enough, we saw what happened in terms of layoffs."

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In the two months since the virus outbreak forced an unprecedented shutdown of the nation's economy, more than 36 million Americans have lost their jobs, a rate unseen since the Great Depression.

When the government first launched the loan program at the beginning of April, the $349 billion allocated to the fund dried up within 13 days. But in the second go-around, in the more than three weeks since Congress injected the program with an additional $310 billion, there remains plenty of cash left over in the fund.

As of Monday night, about 4.3 million loans worth more than $513 billion had been distributed, leaving roughly $97 billion left in the pot.

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But the delay in handing out the cash created a dilemma for small businesses, according to Cuban.

"On one hand, they can’t open up. On the other hand, their employees left them because they make more off of unemployment," he said. "It's the ultimate catch-22."

According to a survey released by Global Strategy Group earlier this week, just 12 percent of black and Latino business owners who applied for PPP loans reported receiving the aid they had requested. Twenty-six percent said they were given a fraction of what they'd asked for. Nearly half anticipated having to close permanently within the next six months.

"If you know a business that is in that situation, please help them connect here. There are plenty of banks that want to earn their 5% . Let's connect them," Cuban tweeted, tagging Jill Castilla, the president and CEO of Citizens Bank Edmond, and Vista Bank, a community lender based in Texas.

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