One of the first concerns from the business community was how the Small Business Administration would administer such a large program and help small businesses who are in need right now. The staff hire and training could have meant it was months before an SBA loan was actually issued. Thankfully the US Government has responded with this extraordinary private and public sector cooperation. SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza had this to say,
“This unprecedented public-private partnership is going to assist small businesses with accessing capital quickly… Our goal is to position lenders as the single point-of-contact for small businesses – the application, loan processing, and disbursement of funds will all be administered at the community level.”
The largest concern still remains – the $349 billion package is simply too small and simply won’t cover all small businesses impacted by COVID-19. However there are signs the Government will be prepared to extend the initiative upon a successful stage 1 rollout. The Secretary of State Steven Mnuchin believes this SBA small business loan program will prove incredibly popular and if that’s the case it will be top of his list to return to Congress on. Most economists and indeed Congress can agree the long term impact of mass business closures will have far wider consequences than funding small business payroll and other eligible expenses for two months. Should this initial package run dry, it is expected the Government will ensure it is topped up.