Editors note: This story has been updated to correct misinformation. The eight-hour period applies to lenders that have less than $1 billion in assets, not small businesses.
From 4 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. today, the Small Business Administration will only accept Paycheck Protection Program loan applications from lenders with assets less than $1 billion, according to a 2 p.m. alert from federal officials.
This reserved eight-hour period comes as SBA and Treasury Department officials address charges that the federal stimulus program has prioritized large, publicly traded companies, even though the PPP was intended to support the small business community. Some publicly traded corporations have returned millions in PPP money after public pressure mounted against them for draining funds intended for small businesses.
Brad Close, president of the National Federation of Independent Business, said the PPP “lacked strong guardrails, leaving an opening for big business, and allowing large financial institutions to help their bigger clients access money intended for real small businesses,” in a statement Tuesday.
“Policymakers should put an immediate halt to this nonsense, prohibit financial institutions from prioritizing publicly traded clients, and should take great strides to ensure that every penny taken by publicly traded companies be returned and then provided to their intended recipients – small businesses,” Close said.
The SBA said federal officials will evaluate whether to create a similar reserved time in the future.