US pays $500billion in stimulus loans to small businesses hardest hit by coronavirus fallout – The Sun

THE US Small Business Administration has processed nearly four million loans for more than half a trillion dollars since the Paycheck Protection Program launched a month ago today.

SBA has processed about 2.2 million loans valued at over $175 billion since the second round of PPP loan processing began on April 27, the SBA and the US Treasury Department said in a statement Sunday.

The second round of the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program launched last Monday.

The stimulus program allows lenders to approve forgivable, government-guaranteed loans to small US businesses that have shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The average loan in the PPP's second round of processing has been $79,000, according to the statement.

Donald Trump's $660 billion small business rescue program has hit several snags since its rollout on April 3.

The president was criticized last month for the misdirection of funds to large companies and organizations like Harvard University, which pocketed $9 million from the CARES Act.

Trump said Harvard "shouldn't have taken it" and that he would personally see that the stimulus money "meant work workers" will be returned.

"When I saw Harvard, they have one of the largest endowments in the country, if not the world….they're going to pay back that money. They shouldn't have taken it," he said.

"They have to pay it back, I don't like it. This is meant for workers. They have to pay it back."

The original program was also marred by technical issues, system glitches and logistical problems that left many US lenders unprepared.

An Associated Press report revealed in late April that 94 publicly listed companies worth up to $400 million took PPP loans meant for struggling businesses.

Nine of those companies took loans of the $10 million maximum allowance.

At least five companies that took loans were under investigation by regulators and financial companies, according to the AP report.

The revelation came as the $349 billion in PPP funds ran dry on April 16.

Scrutiny of the SBA has grown more intense as a government watchdog informed lawmakers that he's investigating rescue programs launched in the wake of the pandemic.

In a letter to Sen Elizabeth Warren and House Small Business Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez, SBA Inspector General Hannibal Ware said his office has initiated dozens of probes involving fraud complaints.

"I want to assure you my office will perform our work to the highest standards to promote transparency of this vital stimulus program and make recommendations for corrective action to ensure the funds are used efficiently, effectively and in accordance with the law," wrote Ware, as reported by Politico on Friday.

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