The White House said Sunday that 2.2 million small business loans worth $175 billion were doled out in the second round of the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP).
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza said the average size of the loan was about $79,000. The agency started sending out its second round of payments on April 27, coming days after Congress passed a measure to infuse it with funds.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is providing critical support to millions of small businesses and tens of millions of hardworking Americans,” Mnuchin and Carranza said in a joint statement, adding that “the program is broadly based and assisting the smallest of small businesses.”
The program, which provides loans to small businesses that have been hard-hit during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, quickly exhausted its $454-billion fund in the middle of April before it was replenished by lawmakers with another $300 billion. It was created to curb massive layoffs during the pandemic as businesses have been forced to shutter after governors announced strict stay-at-home measures while some industries have been crushed while people follow social-distancing requirements.
Congress passed a bill to create the program to provide aid to some struggling small businesses via government-backed loans that can be forgiven if employers don’t layoff their workers.
“Nearly 500,000 of the loans were made by lenders with less than $1 billion in assets and non-banks. These lenders include Community Development Financial Institutions, Certified Development Companies, Microlenders, Farm Credit lending institutions, and FinTechs,” according to the joint statement.
The Trump administration said that more than 850,000 loans were made by lenders with $10 billion of assets or less.
Carranza and Mnuchin said their systems are “processing loans so lenders can disburse funds quickly” and still “encourage all eligible lenders to participate and all eligible borrowers that need this assistance to work with an approved lender to apply.”
Last week, the PPP loan system appeared to crash, likely due to heavy traffic to access the funds.
And before it was passed in Congress, both Democrats and Republicans expressed concerns about large companies receiving funding through the PPP, while President Donald Trump said large companies shouldn’t be taking the money.
As for the next CCP virus stimulus bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that he’s open to considering more funds to help local and state governments respond to the epidemic.
“We are going to insist on this reform, which is not related to money, as a condition for going forward. We need to protect the American people and protect the brave people who have been on the front lines,” he told Fox News.