As of Thursday morning, the SBA says it’s “unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding”
The announcement from the SBA on Thursday comes as scores of small American business owners work to deal with the fallout of the coronavirus and the move by some states to shutter the vast majority of commerce. Signs that the program was reaching critical capacity first came on Wednesday, when the SBA said the aid may be nearing a ceiling for loan commitments, with more than 1.3 million loans given approval at a value of more than $296 billion. By Wednesday evening, $315 billion had been approved, a person familiar with the situation told CNBC. Though lawmakers appear close to extending funds for the programs, the pace at which U.S. small businesses exhausted the initial $349 billion program likely speaks to the extent and severity state-imposed business closures are having on restaurants, gas stations and other mom and pop retailers across the country. “Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, employing 47% of all workers. In high-cost cities, the median small business has only enough cash to cover 2-3 weeks of expenses,” wrote Ron Temple, head of U.S. equity at Lazard Asset Management.