Government’s Small Business Loan Program Is Already Out Of Money

A notice of closure is posted at The Great Frame Up in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., Thursday, April 2, 2020. The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has triggered a stunning collapse in the U.S. workforce with 10 million people losing their jobs in the past two weeks and economists warn unemployment could reach levels not seen since the Depression, as the economic damage from the crisis piles up around the world. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
FILE - In this April 2, 2020 file photo, a notice of closure is posted at The Great Frame Up in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. The government is closing in on the $349 billion lending limit on its Paycheck Protection Pr... FILE - In this April 2, 2020 file photo, a notice of closure is posted at The Great Frame Up in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. The government is closing in on the $349 billion lending limit on its Paycheck Protection Program that is sending relief money to the nation’s small businesses. The Small Business Administration says that it has approved more than 1.6 million loans worth more than $339 billion. The program will likely reach its ceiling Thursday, April 16. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) MORE LESS
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April 16, 2020 11:11 a.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — The government’s paycheck protection loan program for small businesses is on hold. The Small Business Administration said Thursday that it reached the $349 billion lending limit for the program.

Thousands of small business owners whose loans have not yet been processed must now wait for Congress to approve a Trump administration request for another $250 billion for the program. Lawmakers have been haggling over whether to extend the program as it stands now, or whether to add provisions that among other things would help minority businesses. It’s unclear when they might reach an agreement that would allow loan approvals to continue

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA head Jovita Carranza on Wednesday urged Congress to approve more funds. Meanwhile, thousands of businesses are still applying, hoping to get loans when Congress approves an extension of the program.

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