According to several bank executives, the $350 billion emergency coronavirus relief fund for small businesses ran dry within the first few minutes after the official launch of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
JPMorgan received more than 60,000 applications with the first five minutes and only 27,000 were eventually approved. Bank of America received more than 10,000 applications per hour on the first day of the PPP. Wells Fargo and the Small Business Administration (SBA) received more than 170,000 expressions of interest within the first two days but only 1,051 were approved amounting to $120 million.
The PPP is already out of money but many small business owners like Shawn O’Day and Matt Fhuere did not get any money. O’Day said he only wanted to help his nine employees and pay his rent. Fhuere applied several times and even waited on hold with the SBA for over three hours multiple times but did not receive anything. Renaissance Macro Research’s head of financial research Howard Mason estimates that $1.8 trillion will be needed to meet the needs of small business owners. Data from small business marketing and loyalty platform service Fivestars suggests that 75% of its customers need a $55,000 to successfully restart their operations when the quarantine is over.