Govt lending program for small businesses on hold after reaching limit

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NEW YORK (AP) — The government’s paycheck protection loan program for small businesses is on hold. The Small Business Administration said Thursday that it reached the $349 billion lending limit for the program.

Thousands of small business owners whose loans have not yet been processed must now wait for Congress to approve a Trump administration request for another $250 billion for the program. Lawmakers have been haggling over whether to extend the program as it stands now, or whether to add provisions that among other things would help minority businesses. It’s unclear when they might reach an agreement that would allow loan approvals to continue.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA head Jovita Carranza on Wednesday urged Congress to approve more funds. Meanwhile, thousands of businesses are still applying, hoping to get loans when Congress approves an extension of the program.

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