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Small business lending program reaches $349 billion limit

The government’s paycheck protection loan program for small businesses is on hold after reaching its limit.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Thursday that it reached the $349 billion lending limit for the program.

The program was meant to help small businesses during the coronavirus crisis.

Those whose loans have not yet been processed must wait for Congress to approve a Trump administration request for another $250 billion for the program.

Lawmakers are working on figuring out what to do next.

On Wednesday the SBA released a statement:

Today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement regarding the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program:

“The SBA has processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days.  The Paycheck Protection Program is saving millions of jobs and helping America’s small businesses make it through this challenging time.  The EIDL program is also providing much-needed relief to people and businesses.

“By law, the SBA will not be able to issue new loan approvals once the programs experience a lapse in appropriations. 

“We urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program—a critical and overwhelmingly bipartisan program—at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions more paychecks.

“The high demand we have seen underscores the need for hardworking Americans to have access to relief as soon as possible.  We want every eligible small business to participate and get the resources they need.”