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Are SBA small business loans running out? Here’s what we know so far

April 13, 2020, 3:21 PM UTC

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The $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill set aside $349 billion in forgivable loans to help small businesses ride out this economic storm. But will there be enough to go around?

The Paycheck Protection Program, which is run by the U.S. Small Business Administration, as of Monday morning had approved 880,000 applications for a total of $217 billion, according to SBA figures provided to Fortune. That equals roughly 62% of allocated dollars, up from 48% allocated on Friday. Applications for the program are continuing to flood in, with an additional 219,000 submitted since Friday.

There are more than 30 million small businesses in America, according to the SBA. And freelancers and independent contractors were able to start applying to the program as of Friday as well.

The loans have always been touted as “first come, first served.” And its no wonder demand has been high: though technically a loan, borrowed funds used for cost relating to payroll, mortgage interest, rent, or utilities in the eight weeks following the date of origination can be forgiven, as long as businesses meet certain requirements.

One banking industry source told Fortune that the fact that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has already requested that Congress allocate more money, is a sign that this round may soon run out. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to secure $250 billion more for PPP, but the move was blocked by Senate Democrats.

However, it should be noted that many of the larger banks began accepting applications first from existing business customer—presumably allocating larger amounts to their customers that were already well established. Smaller businesses and freelancers will likely be applying for smaller amounts to cover payroll, so more smaller loans may be approved in this phase of the program.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has agreed the program should see increased funding, but her party would like to see it as part of a broader bill. Over the weekend, McConnell doubled down on his wish to pass the additional $250 billion for PPP as a stand-alone bill.

More must-read finance coverage from Fortune:

—3 strategies small business owners are using to get their SBA stimulus loans faster
When will your SBA loan be approved? Why the process is moving so slowly
—College educated investors may be more likely to fall for coronavirus scams
Corporate credit markets do brisk business after Fed help
—How Fortune 500 companies are utilizing their resources and expertise during the pandemic
—Listen to Leadership Next, a Fortune podcast examining the evolving role of CEO
—VIDEO: 401(k) withdrawal penalties waived for anyone hurt by COVID-19

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