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Paycheck Protection Program Resumes Lending, But for How Long?

Congress approved an additional $310 billion for the program, but experts warn the new funding could run out by the end of the week.

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program resumed lending on Monday after receiving an additional $310 billion in funding authorized by President Trump on Friday. 

The PPP offers forgivable, one-percent interest loans for small businesses, which the SBA defines as businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The loans are forgivable in full, essentially turning them into grants, if recipients use 75 percent or more of their loan to retain their employees.

The new round of funding nearly doubles the program’s initial pot of $350 billion, which was depleted in just two weeks, and banks are already warning clients that the new funding could run out in a matter of days.

According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, just 20 percent of applications submitted for PPP funding have been fulfilled, meaning the program may again run dry before even processing any new applications. 

The good news for small businesses is that the new round of funding arrives with a new set of guidelines that protect against the widely decried shortcomings of the first bill, which allowed large public companies to receive funding so long as they had fewer than 500 employees per location. Last week, Shake Shack announced it would return a $10 million loan it received from the program.

“Borrowers still must certify in good faith that their PPP loan request is necessary,” the SBA wrote in an FAQ released Thursday. “It is unlikely that a public company with substantial market value and access to capital markets will be able to make the required certification in good faith, and such a company should be prepared to demonstrate to SBA, upon request, the basis for its certification.”

Small businesses who have already applied for a PPP loan are encouraged to contact their banks and ensure that their applications are still pending. Many applications may need to be re-submitted.