Small Businesses: PPP funds are exhausted—now what?

By Jessica Campos
Center for Rural Affairs

As of Thursday, April 16, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) had reached the maximum loan limit authorized by Congress, just 14 days after small businesses were first able to apply.

The program was created as part of the CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, which included $377 billion in relief to small businesses, with $350 billion of that allocated to the PPP.

Congress is debating a proposal to add $250 billion to the program. Action could come as soon as this week.

If you still hope to apply, now is a good time to review your resources and prepare an application to be submitted when the program reopens. Some banks are still taking new applications in anticipation of new funds from Congress, and some are asking small businesses to apply once more funds become available, so check with an eligible lender at If you applied but were not approved, contact your lender to determine your next steps. Act fast because future rounds of funding are not guaranteed.

A second round of funding may also make changes to PPP to ensure that the smallest businesses are able to access the program. We will update our resources to reflect any program changes.

To learn more about the program, including eligibility, loan uses, and application information, visit our fact sheet at

– Jessica Campos is the Women’s Business Center director for the Center for Rural Affairs. Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, nonprofit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action-oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues. For more information, visit

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