A special fund created specifically to help small businesses impacted by coronavirus has reportedly ran out of money on Wednesday. The fund, which allocated $349 billion, was dangerously close to running dry, according to Bloomberg. The news comes as several small businesses are still hoping to take advantage of the money to aid them during this unprecedented time.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Small Business Administration had reported that more than 1.4 million applications had already been approved, which accounted for about $305 billion of the fund itself. However, that's only the value of loans that have been approved and not money that has actually been lent. Republicans have previously attempted to add an additional $250 billion last week, though Democrats had been pushing for more aid to other groups. Both Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had a meeting in an attempt to end the gridlock.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee have attempted to shift the blame on Democrats over the delay, calling their requests a "liberal policy wish list." Spokesman Jesse Hunt issued a statement where he accused Senate Democrats of playing "a game of chicken with essential small business relief and now small business owners and their employees will suffer because of their inaction."
House Leader Nancy Pelosi also issued a statement, claiming that "for the Paycheck Protection Program to succeed, it must work for everyone." She added that "we have been asking for the Administration to work with us to help." The aid comes at a critical time for many, with millions of workers in the U.S. filing for unemployment, leading to a surge of applications and a backlog of requests. On April 2, the Labor Department issued a statement declaring that "the COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims."
As part of the $2 trillion in aid that the federal government approved, individuals who filed taxes in 2018 will be receiving a stimulus payment as well. Although there have been hiccups as the first round of direct deposits have started showing up. Some have reported payments have ended up in the wrong bank account, and the IRS website crashed after it unveiled a new feature allowing people to track their payment online. For those awaiting a paper check, the wait may even be longer, as the U.S. Treasury has ordered that President Donald Trump's signature has to appear on them.