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During an event for small businesses at the White House on Tuesday, President Trump praised the Small Business Administration for "processing loans at a pace never achieved before in the first 24 hours of the second round of funding" for the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.
"So far, we’ve processed an amazing 450,000 loans totaling over $50 billion," Trump said. "Demand is extraordinarily high and there are already twice as many users accessing the system as on any day under the first round."
According to Trump, the SBA has handled "30 percent more loans than any previous day of the program."
He said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told him the second round of PPP funding will provide "much more loans at much smaller amounts" to ensure that more small businesses can benefit from the program.
Last week, Congress passed an additional $320 billion of funding for the PPP after the program ran out of money, with at least $60 billion reserved for community financial institutions, including those that serve "minority and distressed communities." Additionally, $75 billion has been allocated to support hospitals and $25 billion has been allocated for coronavirus testing efforts.
In the first round of the PPP, Trump said more than 1.6 million small businesses received over $340 billion of federal aid to ensure American workers could "retain their jobs, receive their paychecks, and help our economy take off quickly once America reopens for business"
"Our swift action supported or saved 30 million American jobs at least," Trump added.
According to Reuters, the SBA has capped the value of loans individual banks can arrange under the federal economic relief program to 10 percent. Mnuchin said Tuesday the federal government will also perform a full audit on any company that receives a loan above $2 million going forward.
The announcement comes following outrage from small business owners after 147 public companies received roughly $555 million from the initial $349 billion round of PPP funding. Some companies, including Shake Shack, Ruth's Hospitality Group, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Nathan's Hot Dogs, said they would return the funds.
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Companies will have until May 7 to pay back the loans they received from the SBA, and the returned PPP funds will be redispersed to small businesses in the second round of funding, according to the Treasury.