President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaintTrump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: reportTrump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, glovesMORE said he would consider boosting the funds available to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus if the money allocated under the recently-passed $2.2 trillion relief package runs out.
I will immediately ask Congress for more money to support small businesses under the #PPPloan if the allocated money runs out. So far, way ahead of schedule. @BankofAmerica & community banks are rocking! Trump tweeted Saturday.
I will immediately ask Congress for more money to support small businesses under the #PPPloan if the allocated money runs out. So far, way ahead of schedule. @BankofAmerica & community banks are rocking! @SBAgov@USTreasury
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 4, 2020
The most recent coronavirus relief package, which Trump signed into law last week, laid out a $349 billion program to help small businesses. However, banks, credit unions and other lenders warn that guidelines for the plan are unclear and could lead to trouble handling a crush of loan applications.
The guidance was released hours before this program is set to begin and there are still a number of unanswered questions which will very likely complicate quick fulfillment of these critical loans, Jim Nussle, president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association, a trade group for credit unions, told The Hill.
Hundreds of thousands of small and mid-sized firms are expected to compete for the funds made available under the relief package, raising the potential for a backlog for bank and credit unions that still have to vet, approve and process the applications.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who was instrumental in crafting the relief package, has sought to allay concerns over the amount of funds that are available, providing regular Twitter updates over the amount of money that has already been doled out. Mnuchin said Friday that over $1.8 billion has already been allocated by the Small Business Administration.
UPDATE over $1,800,000,000 #PPPloan now processed by @SBAgov mostly all from community banks. Big banks taking in large amounts but not yet submitted in these numbers! #CARESAct#SmallBusiness
Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBank executives sought guidance on small business loan program from Ivanka Trump: reportOil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reservesConfusion surrounds launch of 9B in small-business loansMORE (@stevenmnuchin1) April 3, 2020
However, skepticism remains over whether the fund will run smoothly enough to grapple with the burgeoning economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a poll Friday that found that 24 percent of small businesses say they will close permanently within two months or less due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.