According to the Government Accountability Office, the Small Business Administration has not conducted a comprehensive assessment of the risks of the Paycheck Protection Program because of the need for a rapid execution of the program. The GAO does not consider this an acceptable excuse and noted that an independent auditor reported multiple problems with the loan program.
The Small Business Administration’s Inspector General has issued a report finding that in the first batch of Paycheck Protection Program loans last year, 4,260 borrowers got two PPP loans when they only should have received one. The SBA intends to not forgive those duplicate loans, but to prevent duplication from happening again, the SBA has added controls that are causing delays and a logjam in loan processing this cycle, raising concerns that businesses will be caught without a loan when the program ends on March 31. The House has now passed legislation that would extend the PPP to the end of May.
The Biden Administration has been studying the Paycheck Protection Program loan processes and has made some changes designed to smooth the process, cut down on fraud, and give the smallest businesses access to the loans. For two weeks beginning on Wednesday, PPP applications will be limited to businesses with fewer than 20 employees. Other changes have been made to the program too.
The second iteration of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program is operating much more efficiently than the first version, credit union trade groups said, but added that they continue to run into persistent problems that hamper lenders and borrowers.
Credit union trade groups report that the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department are still failing to anticipate problems with the Paycheck Protection Program rollout and are still playing catch-up with issues. Nevertheless, the trade groups also report that this rollout has gone a lot smoother than in the past.
The Inspector General of the Small Business Administration warned that during the earlier Paycheck Protection Program lending, businesses on a Treasury Department “Do Not Pay” list were approved for $3.6 billion in loans. It is not clear how much of the money was actually distributed.
The new Paycheck Protection Program starts with initial lending limited to businesses who have not received a PPP loan and lending going through Community Development Financial Institutions, Minority Depository Institutions, certified development corporations and microlenders. After a few days the lending options open further.
The Trump Administration wants to delay the court-ordered release of all data for businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program loans and funds from the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Under an order issued by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, the Small Business Administration is required to release that data by tomorrow, Nov. 19.
A federal judge has ordered the Small Business Administration to release the names, addresses and precise loan amounts for businesses that received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. “In light of SBA’s awesome statutory responsibility to administer the federal government’s effort at keeping the nation’s small businesses afloat amidst an economic and health crisis of unprecedented proportions, the public interest in learning how well the agency fulfilled its charge is particularly pronounced,” U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled last week. He gave the Trump Administration until Nov. 19 to release the data. Several news organizations had submitted Freedom of Information
In April, the Small Business Administration indicated that SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advances would be treated as grants, but now says the forgiven amount of a Paycheck Protection Program loan must be reduced by the EIDL Advance, causing trouble for both borrowers who owe the money and the lenders who will have the unforgiven part of the PPP loan on their balance sheets. Meanwhile, the SBA’s Inspector General released a devastating report that thousands of ineligible businesses received PPP loans.