On Thursday, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reported that the Paycheck Protection Program’s (PPP) loan volume reached the maximum limit of $349 billion appropriated under the CARES Act, as had funds for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL). In a statement released on Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said that the SBA has processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than two weeks.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is saving millions of jobs and helping America’s small businesses make it through this challenging time. The EIDL program is also providing much-needed relief to people and businesses,” Mnuchin and Carranza said in the statement. “We urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program—a critical and overwhelmingly bipartisan program—at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions more paychecks.”
Travel industry leaders have recently called on Congress to expand SBA lending. Last week, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) sent a letter urging Congress to make several updates to the CARES Act, including increasing the limit on SBA loans. “The current limit will not allow a business owner to meet both payroll and debt service obligations beyond an estimated four to eight weeks. Consequently, it will result in continued layoffs of the very workers the bill seeks to protect,” said AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers.
On Thursday, AAHOA President and CEO Cecil P. Staton urged Congress to take immediate action to provide additional funding to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). “COVID-19 is placing American small businesses in such distress that the largest stimulus programs in the nation’s history ran out of money in less than two weeks. Congress must immediately authorize additional funding for this crucial capital lifeline and direct the Small Business Administration to permit lenders to continue submitting applications into a queue so that valuable time is not lost while we wait for Congress to act,” Staton said in a statement released on April 16.
The U.S. Travel Association has also called for the replenishment of PPP funds as well as other structural changes to the CARES Act.