Right now, financially battered small businesses are relying on two different government rescue programs in order to survive the coronavirus crisis. Both are experiencing serious problems. But Congress only appears to be interested in fixing one of them. As a result, truly small businesses might be about to get an extremely raw deal.
The first of these programs is the ever-chaotic Paycheck Protection Program, the $349 billion rescue effort that has commanded most of the public’s attention on this front. It provides businesses with low-interest loans to cover payroll and some other expenses like rent and utilities, which the government will forgive as long as the borrower doesn’t lay off its workers.