Washington D.C. Bureau

US extends $350B lifeline to small businesses


The Small Business Administration rolled out the new loan program on Friday

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — There are new grants and forgivable loans for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. 

The $2.2 trillion in emergency aid from the government includes a lifeline for small businesses shuttered or otherwise impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Small Business Administration rolled out the new loan program on Friday. 

“Small business is the backbone of the American economy,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. 

The SBA also launched a new online platform with all the details. 

“The paycheck protection program is the help keep employees on payroll and small businesses open,” Carranza said. 

She explained loans are forgivable if businesses keep employees on their payroll. 

“You get the money, you’ll get it the same day. You use this to pay your workers. Please bring your workers back to work if you’ve let them go,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. 

Mnuchin said the loans cover eight weeks of employee pay plus overhead. Businesses can access the loans through their own banks. But the rollout has had a bumpy start as banks received new guidance on the program just one day before it launched. 

Some banks were not ready to issue loans on Friday. 

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner said in a statement the program is still confusing and businesses and banks need more guidance. 

“I want to reiterate the importance of patience in this process,” said Carranza. 

But Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga said other institutions were ready for the rollout. 

“Looks like they’re already—Day One—going to have about $1 billion that going out the door,” he said. 

In total, there is $350 billion in aid available to the nation’s 30 million small businesses. 

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