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Biz Groups Worry Money In Federal Paycheck Protection Program Could Soon Run Out

Someone inserts a Visa credit card into a card reader held by another person.
Nathan Dumlao
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Unsplash

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is raising concerns that the federal Paycheck Protection Program could soon run out of money. 

UPDATE 4/16/2020  12:30 P.M.: The SBA has released a statement saying the Paycheck Protection Program is "currently unable to accept new applications... based on available appropriations funding." It has effectively run out of money.

Original Story: 

The program seeks to give small business owners money so they can pay their employees instead of laying them off. However, in Florida, not many businesses have gotten the dollars they need from the program.

When the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched its Paycheck Protection Program, there were hiccups along the way. Not all banks were SBA approved to accept applications, and some that were, couldn't access an online portal to submit customer applications. However, the SBA has since resolved those issues.

"They've done a good job—the SBA has relatively speaking in flying an airplane they're building in midair," Alex Sanchez says. He's CEO and President of the Florida Bankers Association.

In Florida, banks have been slow to process customer applications. That's in part due to the high volume of requests coming in. Sanchez comments that banks are doing their best.

"Our banks have been able to work around the clock for the last two weekends uploading loans to help our small business owners," Sanchez says.

Another threat is looming on the horizon: The NFIB is raising concerns federal dollars for the program could soon run out. The organization is urging Congress to give an additional $251 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program. Florida congresswomen Lois Frankel is supporting that initiative.

"Right now, what we're pushing for is more money for the SBA—for the Pay[check] Protection Program because that money has been pretty much eaten up," Frankel says.

Bill Herrle is the executive director of the NFIB in Florida. He says Florida business owners are struggling.

"Those checks promised by Congress have not quite been delivered yet. There are scant few in Florida that have received PPP checks," Herrle says.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced yesterday that more than 50,000 of these loans have recently been approved in Florida.

"Point is it can't come soon enough," Herrle says.

The NFIB is also pushing for more money for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.