Since the rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, more than 1.6 million forgivable loans have been approved by almost 5,000 participating lenders totaling approximately $350 billion to American businesses, according to U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky’s 6th District.
This includes over 17,000 approved loans and $3.4 billion in loans to Kentucky small businesses.
To put the demand for this program in perspective, Barr said in his latest district newsletter, the Small Business Administration (SBA) processed more loans in the last 14 days than it did in the last 14 years! But this could not have happened without the efficiency and productivity of the professionals in the financial services industry who worked tirelessly to serve their customers and originate these loans.
To help these financial institutions, Barr said he personally asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to establish a liquidity facility to provide immediate, additional funding to participating lenders so they could continue to originate PPP loans. The Treasury Department worked with the Federal Reserve to honor that request.
Congress has a responsibility to support these businesses and ensure that our efforts to flatten the curve do not flatten the economy and these small businesses along with it.
Economic Impact Payments begin
Last week, the Treasury Department announced that 80 million Americans with bank account information on file with the IRS would be receiving their Economic Impact Payment checks via direct deposit by week’s end, and see Kentuckians began seeing deposits hit their accounts April 15.
The full amount of these recovery rebates, enacted as part of the CARES Act, is $1,200 for individuals with adjusted gross income at or below $75,000 and $2,400 for couples with adjusted gross income at or below $150,000. Families with children will receive an additional $500 per child. Rebates will be gradually reduced for individuals and couples above those income thresholds and ultimately phased out at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for couples. In order to be eligible, a person must have a valid Social Security Number.
The IRS and Treasury Department also announced a web application for individuals to use if they haven’t received their rebate check. The Get My Payment app launched this week allows you to track the status of your payment. You can click this link to access the app on your desktop, and it is free to download on any tablet or mobile device.
Please also stay vigilant against potential rebate check scams, Barr said. The IRS will not call you, text you, email you or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information for the purpose of delivering the economic impact payments.
Main Street Business Lending Program
Additionally, as authorized by the CARES Act, the Federal Reserve announced creation of the Main Street Business Lending Program that will support small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the public health crisis.
Guidance on this facility is forthcoming, but these low-interest loans, backed by the Treasury Department’s Exchange Stabilization Fund, will be available through commercial banks in an amount based on the company’s 2019 earnings, up to $25 million.
Millions of American workers depend on the continued viability of these companies, the activities of which have been interrupted by the pandemic and the related shutdown of the economy.