The Trump administration’s emergency $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses cover their payroll costs was set to roll out on Friday, with banks accepting applications from businesses slammed by coronavirus. (Applicants must have fewer than 500 employees.)
All week leading up to the start date, President Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and other senior administration officials have been talking up the program and how much it will help small businesses in dire need.
But when the starting light turned green, banks weren’t prepared to handle the flood of applications. (Banks were supposed to be able to begin processing applications at midnight.) On Friday morning, a number of banks were either not accepting loans yet, or having issues with their loan application pages.
That’s despite Mnuchin having declared that the small businesses approved for the loans would “get the money the same day.”
It was already clear by