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Updated at 11:19 a.m. ET
The $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program to boost small businesses during the coronavirus economic crisis has run out of money.
“The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding,” a Small Business Administration spokesperson said in an emailed statement Thursday. ” Similarly, we are unable to enroll new PPP lenders at this time.”
An online portal for lenders had an identical message as of Thursday morning.
The program was passed as part of the CARES Act, Congress’ $2 trillion economic relief bill. The program was plagued by technical difficulties and delays from its opening on April 3.
On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration chief Jovita Carranza urged Congress to appropriate more money for the program as soon as possible.
“By law, the SBA will not be able to issue new loan approvals once the programs experience a lapse in appropriations,” they said in a statement.
“We urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program—a critical and overwhelmingly bipartisan program—at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions more paychecks,” Carranza and Mnuchin added.