But it got off to a bumpy start.
Last Friday, lenders began accepting applications from small businesses that want to tap into $349B in coronavirus relief funds to keep their companies afloat.
Chaos set in REAL quick
Some big banks said at first that they weren’t ready to start processing loan applications for the Paycheck Protection Program.
Some financial institutions that did begin taking the applications were criticized for placing restrictions on who could apply.
- As of Sunday, Citi’s website said that it was “not yet able to accept the loan applications.”
- Bank of America is accepting them, but it’s essentially limiting eligibility to current small-business clients.
The Small Business Administration typically processes about 60k loans in an entire year, and NBC News reported Saturday that the system was overwhelmed. An email from the SBA to lenders apologized for “ongoing technical issues.”
Some companies and smaller banks are worried that the money will be eaten up by the largest players, putting rural businesses at a disadvantage.
The Associated Press reported last week that lobbyists for big hotel and restaurant chains are trying to help their clients get around the PPP’s $10m cap on loans.
If your business is in Startupland, you might be SOL
The SBA clarified that religious organizations are eligible to receive loans under the PPP.
But venture-backed startups may still be on the outside looking in. Experts told The Wall Street Journal that the SBA’s affiliation rules make it hard for investor-backed startups to access the money, even after the Treasury Department tried to clear up confusion around them.
Looking for more information about how your business can access coronavirus relief money? Check out our complete guide.