Treasury, SBA seek more coronavirus small business loan program funds from Congress

Paycheck Protection Program nearly out of money

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The U.S. Treasury and Small Business Administration are seeking additional funding from Congress for the programs providing loans to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawmakers previously approved $350 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides small businesses with forgivable loans to fund employees’ paychecks and other essentials. More than 1.5 million PPP applications have been approved as of Wednesday afternoon, totaling $324 billion distributed through more than 4,900 lending institutions, according to the SBA.

President Donald Trump and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza listen as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks about the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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At the rate loans have been processed, the PPP would likely run out of funds Thursday. Officials have proposed adding another $250 billion for the program.

“The SBA has processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said in a written statement Wednesday evening. “The Paycheck Protection Program is saving millions of jobs and helping America’s small businesses make it through this challenging time.”

The SBA won’t be able to approve any more loans once the program runs out of money.

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The program has bipartisan support, but lawmakers have disagreed over some of the rules.

“The high demand we have seen underscores the need for hardworking Americans to have access to relief as soon as possible,” Carranza and Mnuchin said. “We want every eligible small business to participate and get the resources they need.”

Mnuchin and Carranza said they’re also seeking more funds for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which provides grants of up o $10,000 for small businesses experiencing a disaster-related loss of revenue.

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