Small business loan program gets off to a rough start
The federal government’s $ 350 billion small business loan program got off to a rocky start on Friday, with some of the nation’s largest lenders saying they were unable to process loan applications yet, discouraging lenders. business owners who find it difficult to stay afloat.
“I roamed the Los Angeles area for three hours and called several banks,” said Paulo Amaral, founder of Ally Right, a Los Angeles-based startup that helps make websites accessible to people with disabilities. . “No luck at all.”
By 4:30 p.m., at least 9,779 loans worth about $ 3.2 billion had been approved, according to Small Business Administration chief Jovita Carranza, who provided a running tally on Twitter. Michael Strain, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, calculated that half of that amount would keep about 400,000 employees over the next eight weeks.
But with millions of people losing their jobs every week, it’s “a drop in the bucket,” said Brock Blake, managing director of Lendio Inc., a tech company that connects lenders with small business borrowers. .
Friday was day one of the new paycheck protection program, part of the $ 2 trillion stimulus package designed to deal with the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic.