As of around 2:30 p.m. Friday, 5,979 loans worth about $2 billion had been approved, according to Small Business Administration chief Jovita Carranza. The American Enterprise Institute, calculated that half that would keep more than 100,000 workers employed for the next eight weeks.
One reason many banks weren’t ready to process applications was a delay in getting final rules about the program from the Treasury Department and SBA, as well as uncertainty about what kinds of documentation will be accepted to qualify prospective borrowers. The government didn’t release final versions of the documents that must be filed by borrowers and lenders until Thursday night. “Wells Fargo is working as quickly as possible to be ready to assist small business customers,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. Bank of America Corp. started accepting applications Friday morning and had received more than 15,000. But the bank said it is only considering customers with outstanding loans and deposit accounts in order to speed up the approval process.