‘Lapse in appropriations’: Small business loan program is out of money

U.S. Capitol. Credit: Getty Images

A day after U.S. Senator Marco Rubio acknowledged flaws in the small business loan program aimed at maintaining payrolls, the federal agency administering the program announced that funds are now exhausted.

The U.S. Small Business Administration ran out of money for the Paycheck Protection Program, according to a message to lenders posted on SBA’s website Thursday.

“The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding,” the post states.

Rubio, a Republican U.S. senator, previously argued that many small business owners are having trouble accessing banks to receive federal funds from the PPP, a loan program established by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

In remarks during a virtual town hall meeting Wednesday, Rubio said, “It is not a perfect program, the day we passed it, we said that…we got more work to do.”

State Rep. Shevrin Jones, a Democrat representing part of Broward, said he hasn’t spoken with Rubio yet about the issue since yesterday’s video conference.

“We are going to have a bigger economic crisis on our hand,” Jones said during a phone call with the Phoenix.

“The fact that Florida has awarded 1,000 small businesses the loan, and now to hear federal government has run out of money…party politics is not going to solve this problem,” Jones said, expressing concerns about the impact on Florida’s small businesses.

SBA issued a press release on Wednesday, calling for action by “Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program,” so that the agency can continue to process loan applications and paychecks to workers.

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

SBA continued: “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.”

According to a CNN report, Democratic lawmakers and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will resume “Thursday to try and reach agreement on a package that will immediately increase funding for the program.”

The Paycheck Protection Program was established through the CARES Act and provides funds for small business owners to “help maintain their payroll.”

According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) focuses on small business resources to maintain payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead.