June 10, 2020 / Sarah Hansen, Forbes Staff
With the $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program thrust into the spotlight again on the heels of May’s better-than-expected jobs report, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin acknowledged the need for more targeted relief spending in his testimony with Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza before Senate lawmakers on Wednesday.
- “We’re open-minded, but we absolutely believe small businesses, and by the way, many big businesses in certain industries, are absolutely going to need more help,” Mnuchin said during the hearing, though he also acknowledged that the next round of aid would need to be “more targeted” to specific industries.
- As of June 6, more than $511 billion in PPP loans had been distributed to about 4.5 million small businesses; more than $130 billion in loan money is still available.
- The PPP is being viewed as a major factor in the economy’s recovery especially after May’s surprising job gains (the U.S. added 2.5 million jobs instead of the loss of 9 million that most experts were expecting).
- The bulk of job gains came in the sectors that were hit hardest by the pandemic including retail, restaurants, and construction; those are also the industries that received significant PPP support.