The Paycheck Protection Program, set up by the federal government to help small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is out of funding and no longer accepting most new applications. Congress had set aside $292 billion for the most recent sequence of loans, but now, according to a statement by the Small Business Administration on Tuesday, the money has been exhausted. “It is our understanding that lenders are now getting a message that loans cannot be originated,” trade group the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders wrote to its members on Tuesday. “The P.P.P. general fund is closed to new applications.” The news comes nearly four weeks before the program’s May 31 application deadline. According to government data, the PPP has given out $780 billion in forgivable loans, responding to 10.7 million applications. However, with vaccinations on the rise and COVID-19 case numbers down, lawmakers have been less willing to give the program more funds to allocate.
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