NEW YORK (AP) — Billions of dollars offered by Congress as a lifeline to small businesses struggling to survive the pandemic are about to be left on the table when a key government program stops accepting applications for loans.
Business owners and advocacy groups complain that the money in the Paycheck Protection Program was not fully put to work because the program created obstacles that stopped countless small businesses from applying.
It was not until May 22, seven weeks after the program began, that the SBA and the Treasury Department released the first instructions and applications for loan forgiveness.
For many small business owners, a big drawback was the law’s original requirement that companies use loan money within eight weeks, with a June 30 spending deadline.
That gave businesses like restaurants two undesirable choices: recall laid-off workers immediately and risk having to lay them off again after eight weeks, or wait to use the money and then have to repay part of the loan.