The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) says that nearly 5,000 lenders have approved 1.6 million loans totaling $342.2 billion under the agency's Paycheck Protection Program.
“Following its launch, the SBA processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days, which will protect a vast number of American jobs,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a joint statement.
The PPP is the U.S. government's $349 billion program of forgiveness loans to help small and medium-sized businesses pay employees during the COVID-19 crisis and minimize layoffs. Many businesses complain that the program ran out of funds in just days, long before many could even apply.
Democrats and Republicans in Washington are continuing to negotiate over whether to add more funding. A PYMNTS survey of hundreds of SMBs found that many are just weeks away from running out of money, even with government aid.
Still, Carranza and Mnuchin said in their statement that the program "enjoyed broad-based participation across the country from lenders of all sizes and a wide array of industries and businesses. From its start on April 3, PPP provided payroll assistance to more than 1.6 million small businesses in all 50 states and territories.”
The top five big bailout winners were California with $33.4 billion in loans, Texas at $28.4 billion, New York with $20 billion, Florida with $17 billion and Illinois at $15.9 billion.
Construction topped the sectors with 177,905 loans totaling $44.9 billion, or 13 percent of the funding; the professional, scientific and technical sector was a close second with $43.2 billion on 208,360 loans; manufacturing accounted for 108,863 loans totaling $40 billion; healthcare followed with $39.8 billion for 183,542 loans; and accommodations represented $30 billion on 161,876 loans.
“The vast majority of these loans – 74% of them – were for under $150,000, demonstrating the accessibility of this program to even the smallest of small businesses,” Carranza and Mnuchin said.
Still, not everyone was happy with the results. NBC News reported that some small business owners were angry that the program ran out of money in two weeks, even as lenders setting up the loans received nearly $6 billion in fees.