Small-business coronavirus aid programs are out of money, SBA reports

Less than three weeks after the U.S. passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill to help individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the government has reportedly run out of funds for small businesses.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act included $349 billion for small business Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Programs, but two weeks after funds were made available on April 3, the funds dried up Wednesday.

The news comes after a coalition of hemp organizations wrote a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, imploring the SBA to allow hemp farmers to access EIDL funds and other programs. Members of Congress had also directed the agency to include farmers after the SBA had expressly excluded them.

According to the SBA website, the agency is not accepting new applications for the PPP or EIDL programs – including EIDL advances – based on available funding.

Applicants who have already submitted requests for funding will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, the agency stated.

More than 1.64 million applications were approved, totaling $349 billion in loans from more than 4,900 lending institutions, according to the SBA.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Carranza said the agency had processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in fewer than 14 days.

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

Negotiations between Congress and the White House over replenishing small business funding resumed Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal.