Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, speaks to members of the media at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, April 6, 2020.
Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on Sunday said the White House has made no decision on providing further funding for the emergency loan program for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but said a third tranche of money might be necessary.
“This has been an extremely popular and effective program, no question about it,” Kudlow told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
The initial $349 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program in the $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed in March was exhausted in a matter of days. The program has seen overwhelming demand and many businesses struggling from the coronavirus outbreak have said they’ve been unable to receive funds.
The second round of the program launched last Monday and has so far provided over 2.2 million loans worth more than $175 billion out of the total $310 billion Congress authorized in the latest relief package. However, bank industry groups say the majority of the $310 billion is likely already used up given the high volume of applications already in the queue.
Asked whether a third round of funding is needed, Kudlow said “it may be” but did not commit to more assistance for PPP or funding for state and local governments.
“We waited a little bit too long, I thought, when the last tranche ran out,” Kudlow said of the small business loan program. “Let’s not make the same mistake again.”
The law that created the PPP has been criticized because it provided loans to larger publicly traded companies including hotel and restaurant chains, some of which have returned the money. There were over 1.6 million loans approved in the first round of funding.
Since then, the SBA appears to have approved more smaller loans, a signal that more money is going to smaller companies. In the first round of the program, the average size of a loan was $206,000, with over 1.2 million loans approved that were worth $150,000 and under.
In this latest round, the average loan size is $79,000 with more than 1.5 million loans approved worth $50,000 and under.