U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reassured the nation’s small businesses that they shouldn’t worry about getting a government bailout as they struggle to stay afloat during the free fall due to COVID-19.
“I want to assure all small businesses out there: We will not run out of money,” he told CNBC on Wednesday (April 8). “If you don’t get a loan this week, you’ll get a loan next week or the following week. The money will be there.”
Mnuchin said the Treasury is working with the Federal Reserve Board on the Main Street Lending Program. The initiative is expected to rescue firms with between 500 and 10,000 employees and $10 million to $2 billion in revenue. “We hope to have an announcement this week with the details on that and get it up and running as soon as we can,” he said.
When Mnuchin was questioned by Jim Cramer about working with the Small Business Administration (SBA), who is administering the loans, the secretary said he expects Congress to swiftly approve more funding on top of the original $350 billion already being distributed.
“Jim, we’re raising over $2 trillion for our COVID relief,” he said. “We’re raising it all across the curve and we have tremendous demand for U.S. Treasuries. Everybody wants to buy U.S. Treasuries: It’s the safe haven.”
Mnuchin said President Donald Trump has asked his team to return to Congress and get a deal done for more relief for businesses. “We hope they pass this tomorrow or Friday,” he added. “And we want to assure everybody that if you don’t get a loan this week, you’ll get a loan next week or the following week. The money will be there.”
Late last month, the president signed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the coronavirus crisis, calling it the “single biggest economic relief package in American history.” His signature came within days of approval by the House and Senate, where Democrats and Republicans managed to work out their disagreement quickly.