The Small Business Administration said that banks have approved nearly $250 billion in emergency lending to American small businesses, but there is scant evidence that much of that money is actually making its way into the hands of business owners, many of whom say time is running out before the coronavirus epidemic could force them to shutter permanently.
“In general, the system is not working well,” said John Arensmeyer, chief executive officer of advocacy organization Small Business Majority, in an interview with MarketWatch. “Even businesses that have heard their loans have been approved haven’t seen any money yet.”
The SBA said Tuesday that more than 1 million loan applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans have been approved by 4,664 lenders for roughly $247 billion dollars, through April 13, but have provided no information on how much money has actually been disbursed.
The Paycheck Protection Program was established by the CARES Act, and offers forgivable loans for small businesses that have been forced to shutter or scale back operations as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, on the condition that it maintain employment at precrisis levels.
JPMorgan & Chase Co.
announced during a call with analysts Tuesday that “we funded $9.3 billion to businesses with over 700,000 in employees,” but others, like Wells Fargo & Co.