- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Small Business Administration loaned more than $175 billion to 2.2 million small businesses in one week during the second round of emergency “paycheck protection” aid, SBA and the Treasury Department said Sunday.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza said the 2.2 million loans surpass the total number of loans issued in the first round, which totaled $350 billion.

SBA has now run through more than half of the second round of aid, $310 billion, in just one week.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides grants and loans of up to $10 million for companies with fewer than 500 employees to keep workers on the payroll for up to two months during the coronavirus crisis.

Mr. Mnuchin and Ms. Carranza said the average loan size in round two is $79,000, “yet another indicator that the program is broadly based and assisting the smallest of small businesses.”

“Nearly 500,000 of the loans were made by lenders with less than $1 billion in assets and non-banks,” they said. “Over 850,000 loans—about one third of the 2.2 million loans—were made by lenders with $10 billion of assets or less.”

Since the launch of PPP on April 3, SBA has processed over 3.8 million loans for more than $500 billion, they said.

SBA systems are processing loans so lenders can disburse funds quickly,” their statement said. “We encourage all eligible lenders to participate and all eligible borrowers that need this assistance to work with an approved lender to apply.”

The PPP program came under fire for glitches in the electronic system for processing loan applications, and for handing out some aid to large public companies, some of which have given back the money.

Consumer Bankers Association President and CEO Richard Hunt said there were “some hurdles along the way, but in the end, banks with assets greater than $10 billion invested heavily in ensuring this program was a success, making more than half of individual loans and more than two-thirds of the total loan dollar value during this second phase.”

He said banks working with the SBA “were able to make more than two decades worth of SBA loans in less than a month. It was a herculean effort which undoubtedly saved millions of jobs and the nation’s leading banks were gladly up to the task.”

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