The US Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that they are unable to accept any new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances). They have also stopped enrolling new lenders. This comes just 13 days after its April 3 launch. The program is on a first come first served basis, so there won’t be a queue of applicants beyond what has been appropriated to this point.
According to a report by Bloomberg, the SBA announced that more than 1.4 million applications had been approved, representing about $338 billion of the $349 billion total funds available to small businesses. That figure represents the dollar amount of the loans that have been approved for disbursement, not what has reached businesses in need. Crowdsourced database COVID Loan Tracker estimates that only about 5% of small businesses that have applied for a lone have received one.
So, what happens next?
An article in Slate, suggests that the Trump administration is now in discussions with Democrats about replenishing the funds. The expectation is that they will work to reach a decision quickly, so small businesses aren’t ‘left in the lurch.’
The negotiation over how to proceed may be fraught with conflict over what other parts of economic relief funding need to be topped off before Democrats agree to another round of PPP funding. The Republicans want to keep any top-up of the PPP exclusive to small businesses.
Our hope is that negotiations don’t get bogged down in political wrangling. There certainly seems to be pressure coming from all sides to get this done. With an agreement hopefully hours (but more likely days) away, it’s too early to tell what the practical next steps are for applying for help. Watch out for updates here as soon as more information is available.
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