White House says new small business loan program is out of money, leaving many firms grasping for lifelines

From the Washington Post

April 16, 2020

A new lending program for small businesses maxed out Thursday morning and stopped accepting claims, but a bitterly divided Congress looked unlikely to address that growing problem as the nation plunged into unemployment levels not seen since the Great Depression.

The Small Business Administration said on its website that the agency “is unable to accept new applications … based on available appropriations funding.”

Republicans and Democrats say more action is needed to build on the massive $2 trillion economic rescue law passed just three weeks ago, but they cannot agree on what to do. The economy continues to weaken but lawmakers are scattered all over the country advancing conflicting proposals and bickering.]

The impasse has become so heated that President Trump lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday morning, just one day after he threatened to adjourn Congress because he complained nothing was getting done.

The $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program was a central piece of the coronavirus rescue law. Overwhelmed by demand from the moment it launched April 3, the program has now essentially run dry as small businesses around the nation beg for relief. The program is aimed at helping businesses with under 500 workers and keeping people employed by extending loans that are forgivable if businesses keep workers on payroll.

The SBA reported Thursday morning that more than 1,637,000 loan applications valued at “over $339 billion” had been approved. It is not expected to disclose who the recipients of the taxpayer funds will be, as the $2 trillion bailout law did not compel the agency to make this information public.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/04/16/congress-coronavirus-small-business-trump/