Some 2.2 million small business loans totaling $175 billion were extended on Sunday (May 3) in the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, said that the White House has made no decision regarding additional emergency loan funding due to the coronavirus pandemic. He did say that the third allotment of money might be necessary.
“This has been an extremely popular and effective program, no question about it,” Kudlow told CNN.
According to CNN, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza relayed via a joint statement that the second round of funding amounted to an average loan of $79,000.
The second $310 billion round of PPP funds launched Monday (April 27) has already provided in excess of 2.2 million in loans worth more than $175 billion. However, most bank industry groups have indicated that most of the $310 billion is likely already tapped due to the applications already in the queue.
Kudlow said “it may be” necessary to have more funding available. “We waited a little bit too long, I thought, when the last tranche ran out,” Kudlow said of the small business loan program. “Let’s not make the same mistake again.”
Criticism mounted when it became known that some PPP loans were given to big, publicly traded companies like hotel and restaurant chains worth millions. Many have opted to return the loans.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is providing critical support to millions of small businesses and tens of millions of hard-working Americans,” Mnuchin and Carranza said in their statement Sunday (May 3), adding the average loan size indicated “the program is broadly based and assisting the smallest of small businesses.”
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has looked into fraudulent coronavirus assistance. Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said prosecutors have reached out to 15 to 20 of the biggest loan processors and the SBA is taking from the model that its healthcare fraud strike force utilized. That team has been utilizing data analytics for over 10 years to find criminal activities linked to Medicare in addition to other federal programs.