COVID-19 Update

Small Business Relief Programs Depleted; Congress Works to Replenish

A $350 billion relief program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 has run dry, but Congress is working to replenish funding.

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If you acted quickly and were able to secure some small business paycheck protection funds from the U.S. government, you’re in luck.

The program is apparently out of funds, and now congressional leaders can’t agree on how to replenish the program, according to the Wall Street Journal. This comes as more than 20 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits within the last month due to COVID-19 and the effects of a government-imposed shutdown of the economy to prevent spreading the disease.

The $350 billion loan program for small businesses was more popular than expected, and it’s now out of funds, the Journal reported.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that another 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total in a month of coronavirus-related shutdowns to 22 million.

The small-business program has seen strong demand since launching earlier this month as economic activity cratered. Businesses with 500 employees or fewer are eligible for the loans, which can be forgiven if the firm doesn’t lay off workers. The funds can also be used for rent and utilities.

The Small Business Administration, which administers the loan program, said early Thursday it couldn’t accept new applications or enroll new lenders.

It will come as a shock to nobody, but Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill can’t agree on how to replenish this program and others, like the Economic Injury Disaster Program.

Read Next: 5 Tips to Help AV Integrator Businesses Weather the Storm During Coronavirus Outbreak

It’s probably safe to say that Congress will approve more funding, especially since the economic impact seems to be getting worse, judging by unemployment figures and announced layoffs and furloughs.

On Friday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told Politico that progress is being made on providing more small business relief.

If your integration firm is dire need of this assistance, pay attention to the news and act quickly once more funding is allocated.