On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s largest banks, is already cutting off new applications for the government’s small-business stimulus relief program.
“Wells Fargo didn’t begin taking applications until Saturday and by Monday morning said it reached the $10 billion cap it had set for loans under the program,” wrote Renae Merle. “Small businesses, which employ nearly half of the United States’ private-sector workers, say they are facing long waits and rejection as they scramble to secure loans through the fund, known as the Paycheck Protection Program. Many banks are accepting applications only from existing customers or businesses of a certain size.”
Bank of America is also being inundated, according to the report, with officials saying that “it has received 178,000 applications from small businesses seeking $32.9 billion in loans.”
The $349 billion small business fund, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, is part of Congress’ $2 trillion package, the CARES Act, to help those economically and medically suffering as a result of coronavirus. It is the third and largest stimulus bill passed so far in the wake of the crisis.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said she is working on a fourth stimulus bill which will further extend unemployment benefits and direct cash relief to U.S. households.