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  • Writer's picturePaul Manigrasso


From The Wall Street Journal

Funding Exhausted for $350 Billion Small-Business Paycheck Protection Program SBA says it is unable at this time to accept new aid applications or enroll new lenders

Administrator of the Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza provided an update on small business relief during a virtual event with banking executives and President Trump April 7. PHOTO: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS By Andrew Duehren Updated April 16, 2020 11:22 am ET WASHINGTON—A $350 billion loan program for small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic ran out of money Thursday morning as Republicans and Democrats continued to disagree over how to replenish the funds. The Small Business Administration, which administers the new program, wrote a message on its website that it couldn’t accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program or enroll new lenders. Republicans want to approve $250 billion more for the loans, before moving on to other aid and stimulus proposals. Democrats want to make changes to the small-business program and include money for hospitals, state and local governments, and food assistance recipients alongside it. The small-business loan program designed to support businesses hit by the pandemic is expected to run out of money soon. WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib explains the forces keeping Congress from fixing that problem now. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images The exhaustion of the funds puts more pressure on lawmakers to reach an agreement on the legislation. The Trump administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill were expected to continue negotiations Thursday after talks on Wednesday. The program has seen strong demand since launching earlier this month as economic activity across the country has come to a halt during the pandemic. Businesses with 500 employees or fewer are eligible for the loans, which can be forgiven if the firm doesn’t lay off workers. The funds can also be used for rent and utilities.

SBA said it has approved more than 1.6 million loan applications as of Thursday morning. Bank-industry officials say Congress may need to keep adding to the program, or risk leaving some businesses out. “We think we’re going to need upwards of $1 trillion dollars in order to satisfy the demand of America’s small business,” said Richard Hunt, chief executive of the trade group Consumer Bankers Association. —Amara Omeokwe contributed to this article.

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