Govt lending program on hold after reaching lending limit

National News

FILE – In this April 2, 2020 file photo, a notice of closure is posted at The Great Frame Up in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. The government is closing in on the $349 billion lending limit on its Paycheck Protection Program that is sending relief money to the nation’s small businesses. The Small Business Administration says that it has approved more than 1.6 million loans worth more than $339 billion. The program will likely reach its ceiling Thursday, April 16. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The government’s paycheck protection loan program for small businesses is on hold.

The Small Business Administration said Monday 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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