Paycheck Protection Program Hits $349 Billion Limit

The Small Business Administration’s rescue loan program hit its $349 billion limit yesterday and is now out of money as the nation’s Congressional leaders struggle to agree on how to restore its funds.

The SBA website reads that it is “unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding. Similarly, we are unable to enroll new PPP lenders at this time.”

The announcement from the SBA comes as scores of small American business owners work to deal with the fallout of the coronavirus and the move by some states to shutter the vast majority of commerce.

The first-come, first-served Paycheck Protection Program of $349 billion had promised to alleviate some of the financial burden for the nation’s smallest business owners.

Signs that the program was reaching critical capacity first came on Wednesday, when the SBA said the aid may be nearing a ceiling for loan commitments, with more than 1.3 million loans given approval at a value of more than $296 billion. By Wednesday evening, $315 billion had been approved

Congressional leaders are expected to continue talks with the Treasury Department to hash out a supplemental appropriation of $250 billion for the program.