PPP funding poised to dry up

Paycheck Protection Program funding is all but exhausted.

The Small Business Administration said late Tuesday that the program has about $8 billion remaining, with those funds reserved for community development financial institutions, minority depository institutions and other mission-oriented lenders. Another $6 billion of funding has been reserved to address issues with unresolved hold codes.

The agency said it would continue funding businesses impacted by the pandemic through its $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund and the $16 billion Shuttered Venue Operators Grants program. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program also remains open.

The SBA’s regular lending programs, including 7(a) and 504, have seen an uptick in activity in recent weeks. Through April 30, the 7(a) program reported total volume of $13.5 billion for the 2021 fiscal year, up 5% from a year earlier.

“SBA is committed to delivering economic aid through the many COVID relief programs it is currently administering and beyond,” the agency said in a Wednesday release.

Congress revived PPP lending with a $284 billion appropriation as part of a stimulus law enacted late last year. The program’s expiration date was extended from March 31 to May 31 earlier this year, but lawmakers did not include additional funding.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., sponsored legislation last month intended to direct more PPP loans to farmers, ranchers and self-employed workers, but that proposal also lacked additional funding.

Consumer Bankers Association CEO Richard Hunt said in a TUesday press release that the PPP was a “herculean effort” that “saved millions of jobs and supported struggling communities when the needed it the most.”

The focus now should shift to the PPP forgiveness process, Hunt said.

Through May 2, the SBA reported approving 10.8 million PPP loans for $780.4 billion, including $258.2 billion approved since the program reopened in January. Through April 25, the agency reported forgiving 2.9 million loans for $242.1 billion.

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