The massive $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at saving the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic hasn't been without its problems. One of the latest involves the Small Business Administration, which got another $310 billion in emergency aid to doll out.
However, as The New York Times reported on Monday, after the application process was made available online that it crashed the site less than an hour later. It's become a common issue as both state and federal agencies are overwhelmed with applicants from all walks of life. Which includes $220 billion in new loan applications along with the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program. Miryam Barajas, regional communications director for the SBA, told KCRA on Thursday that it stemmed from "a high volume of applications that came in on day one, as you can imagine."
"And we did do some changes to the database that processes these loans," Barajas continued. "And so for example, one thing we did is we created a pacing mechanism so that all of the lenders were able to access information at the same rate. The SBA also "limited yesterday evening's access to the database to only our very small lenders -- those that had $1 billion in assets or less," which she explained was "so that their businesses would have access to those loans."
"As of Wednesday night, we had about 960,000 approved applications under the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program," Barajas added. "With that, we have almost $90 billion that have been approved to be lent out."
This isn't the first time that small businesses have dealt with some curveballs. On April 15, the U.S. Small Business Administration had apparently run out of close to $350 billion in funds just hours after opening up its application process. At the time it was reported that more than 1.4 million applications had been approved, which accounted for about $305 billion of the fund.
There's also the issue of which businesses ended up getting the loans. The Los Angeles Lakers, for example, got roughly $4.6 million in funds, while the fast-casual burger chain Shake Shack got $10 million. While both businesses ended up returning the loans after some public outcry, the upscale steak house Ruth's Chris got $20 million in funds, although the company seemed less inclined to return it, despite their financial standing.