President Donald Trump said he is working with congressional leaders to come up with another $250 billion in loan guarantees to help small- and medium-sized businesses get back on their feet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our entire society is mobilizing to meet the invisible enemy, save lives and save jobs, and companies are playing a vital role.”
In a televised meeting with banking and finance company executives at the White House on Tuesday (April 7), the president said the Small Business Administration (SBA) has processed more than $70 billion in guaranteed loans through the Payment Protection Program (PPP).
“That’s far greater than we would have ever thought at this time, I don't think we ever had that number in mind,” Trump said. “It will provide the much-needed relief for the more than 250,000 small businesses that have applied for these loans, and these numbers will continue to rise quickly.”
The measure, launched on Friday (April 3), authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to keep workers employed through the coronavirus.
Trump praised the finance industry for stepping up to meet the needs of small businesses with billions of dollars in government-backed loans.
“(Treasury Secretary) Steve (Mnuchin) was telling me it’s been record-setting, the amount of money that has been done,” he said. “I want to thank Secretary Mnuchin for coming up with many of these ideas... We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel and we will go like a rocket ship once we get back to business; there's a lot of pent-up energy and demand.”
Trump, who was seated next to daughter Ivanka Trump, praised her creation of jobs. “I gave her lots of options and she just wants to get people back to work,” he said. “She started with a goal of 500,000 jobs and now she’s up to over 15 million.”