12:25 GMT28 February 2021
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    Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan to tackle the economic fallout from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 400,000 more relief loans worth $35 billion, in a move aimed at containing the fallout from COVID-19.

    The approval comes amid the SBA's efforts to resolve a spate of operational snags, "mostly data mismatches and eligibility concerns" related to its Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP) and mentioned by lenders.

    "These concerns will require follow-up between the lender and the borrower so that borrowers can access a second round of loans", the SBA said in a statement on Tuesday, pledging to provide guidance to lenders so that they can solve possible problems.

    The statement followed the American Bankers Association saying that companies seeking to apply for a second PPP loan faced technical hurdles as lenders received a "high number of incorrect error messages" when trying to submit loan applications.

    The PPP is a loan programme that keeps American small businesses on an eight-week payroll through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans.

    The programme stems from the larger Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which is a massive COVID-19 monetary aid package.

    Last week, the SBA said that it had okayed more than $5 billion in small business relief loans in the first week since reopening the PPP in line with a new round of federal funding.

    The loans were delivered to 60,000 businesses via 3,000 lenders, a move that came after the SBA approved over $52 billion worth of loans for 475,000 borrowers.

    Earlier this month, new President Joe Biden pointed out that the US is facing "a crisis of deep human suffering" as he unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan to grapple with the nation's economic fallout from the pandemic.

    The so-called "American Rescue Plan" includes a recent appropriations bill passed by Congress late last month, earmarking some $350 billion in financial relief for state and local governments.


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    fallout, government, COVID-19, coronavirus, Joe Biden, US
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