Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says the government won’t run out of money for small businesses

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discusses details for economic relief during the daily coronavirus response briefing as Small Business (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza listens at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 2, 2020.

Tom Brenner | Reuters

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Wednesday that small businesses throughout the U.S. should not worry about their odds of receiving relief funding from the federal government.

Asked by CNBC’s Jim Cramer about the White House’s work with the Small Business Administration, Mnuchin said he’s confident Congress will approve additional funding on top of the original $350 billion already being distributed.

“Jim, we’re raising over $2 trillion for our COVID relief. We’re raising it all across the curve and we have tremendous demand for U.S. Treasurys,” Mnuchin said. “Everybody wants to buy U.S. Treasurys: It’s the safe haven.”

“I want to assure all small businesses out there: We will not run out of money. The president has asked us to go back to Congress. We hope they pass this tomorrow or Friday,” he added. “And we want to assure everybody if you don’t get a loan this week, you’ll get a loan next week or the following week. The money will be there.”

Congress passed the $350 billion in small business funding last month as part of an unprecedented $2 trillion package to try to ease the economic pullback caused by the novel coronavirus and efforts to stanch its spread. 

The small business measures approved by Congress and President Donald Trump aim to help companies keep employees on the job and manage other expenses during the outbreak. Firms with fewer than 500 employees can use the money to cover salary, wages and benefits, with a maximum loan of $10 million.

The funding is available through Small Business Administration-approved lenders and loan payments will be deferred for six months with the possibility of forgiveness on at least part of what they borrow. 

— CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed reporting.

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