The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has supported over three-quarters of the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) payroll in 50 states, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a Wednesday (June 10) hearing.
Mnuchin, however, told the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship that companies large and small will require additional assistance.
Mnuchin said that SMBs, as well as many large businesses in certain verticals, will “absolutely” need more help. He said that the Treasury is “100 percent committed” that those who have lost employment get back to work and that those who have their jobs can keep them.
He said the Treasury looks forward to working with the committee and the remainder of the Senate on a “bipartisan basis” to include incentives whether the efforts are through PPP, tax credits or something else, noting that “we’re open minded.”
On June 5, President Donald Trump signed legislation that would provide further spending options to those who are PPP loan recipients. The bill decreased the share of assistance that recipients need to use toward payroll to 60 percent from 75 percent, while offering more time for them to repay the loans.
In terms of the use of FinTechs to help with loans, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza said the agency had “dedicated resources” to work with those who approached it and indicated they could offer microloans to thousands of people in the underserved markets.
“That seemed like a real appeal for us,” she said.
As Mnuchin addressed the state of the economy, he said April’s personal savings rate was a “record” 33 percent of disposable income. He said the statistic shows that “people have built up cash reserves during the pandemic and will be in a position to resume consumer activity as businesses open.”
The savings rate was reportedly at its highest since the department started tracking in the 1960s. The rate reached 17.3 percent in May 1975, and it was over 13 percent during a large share of the early 1970s.
The pandemic has led U.S. consumers to save due to shelter-in-place mandates in addition to concerns caused by a record 40 million workers seeking jobless benefits.