Coronavirus small business loans to help half of private workforce: Mnuchin

Secretary Mnuchin says he hopes the money goes quickly

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The Paycheck Protection Program will help nearly half of the private U.S. workforce after President Trump signed a coronavirus relief package expanding it by $310 billion on Friday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday.

"It's not a matter of how long it lasts," Mnuchin told "Fox News Sunday." "Actually, I think the sooner the money is dispersed, the better. So the first round impacted about 30 million workers. I think this round will be about the same. That will be close to 50 percent of the private workforce, so I actually hope we run out of money quickly."

TRUMP SIGNS $484B CORONAVIRUS RELIEF BILL REPLENISHING SMALL BUSINESS FUND

Trump signed the $484 billion coronavirus relief package that includes $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, established in the previous relief bill to help small businesses maintain workers on their payroll during the virus outbreak.

Lenders are expected to begin processing applications again Monday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Mnuchin also responded to backlash against the program and chains like Ruth's Chris Steak House that received forgivable loans designed to help small businesses.

"We made it clear they shouldn't have applied. They're paying back the money. ... I think you're going to also see, in this round, the average loan size go down significantly," Mnuchin said.

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