The $349 billion federal relief fund for small businesses in the United States during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is expected be depleted Wednesday, Bloomberg reports.
The Small Business Administration reported that nearly 1.4 million applications on a first-come first-served basis for the government-guaranteed loans (which convert to grants if proceeds are used to keep workers on payroll and cover rent for about two months) have been approved, but that means about $301 billion has already been used up and many businesses will still be waiting in line when the last $48 billion runs out. The whole thing took just 13 days.
Congress, which is on recess until next month, wants to get more funding passed quickly as part of their next phase in the coronavirus relief plan, but negotiations between Republicans and Democrats have stalled amid the latter's push for more aid for hospitals and state and local governments. There was seemingly some good news Wednesday, however, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The two set a meeting, which Bloomberg notes is the first public sign that the stalemate may soon break. Read more at Bloomberg.