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US Government to Disburse $2 Billion in Returned, Declined COVID-19 Funds for Small Businesses

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - New funds are being made available to small businesses in the United States after more than $2 billion in the first round of paycheck protection funding to the group, approved under the coronavirus relief, was declined or returned, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) said on Monday.
"This morning, SBA Government resumed accepting applications for the PaycheckProtectionProgram", SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said in a tweet. "More than $2 billion of the first round of PaycheckProtectionProgram funding was either declined or returned and will be made available during the current application period".

The US Congress approved last week a second aid tranche of $310 billion under the Paycheck Protection Program after an earlier $350 billion, approved for the same purpose, was depleted within days.

US media reported later that various public-listed companies got money from the program while smaller firms were denied, earning the Trump administration criticism for allowing banks to manage the disbursement of the funds without proper guidance apparently. Under the program, employers who do not lay off workers can keep the money they receive as a grant.

According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, small businesses make up 99.7 percent of US employer firms and account for 33 percent of the value of US exports.

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