DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Touting the impact of the federal Payment Protection Program, Jovita Carranza, head of the Small Business Administration, met with small businesses owners in Dallas on Friday.
The Trump administration credits the federal loan program as a major factor for the improving economy and the return of millions of jobs.
"Because of this President that put small business front and center, no small businesses were left behind," Carranza said. "As a result of that, not only were we able to realize the return of more than two million employees but also the fact that we (put) over a half of trillion dollars in the market."
So far more than $500 billion in mainly forgivable loans have been administered through the PPP set up by the CARES Act with $130 billion still available.
However, the deadline for the loans is quickly approaching.
Small businesses owners have until June 30t to be approved which means most will likely need to start the application process in the next week or so.
Carranza, a member of Trump's Cabinet, stopped at Eno's Pizza Tavern in the Bishop Arts District to showcase a PPP loan success story.
Owner Shane Spillers credits the PPP his restaurant received for being able to avoid layoffs and bring back furloughed workers sooner.
Spillers said he's brought back 75% of his staff at his Bishop Arts District location despite being under state capacity restrictions.
"We are just trying to outlast the pain and hurt everyone is feeling right now and end up on the other side," Spillers said. "What the PPP offers us, right now, (is) a lifeline."
Despite an initial rush on the first round of loans, demand was slowed.
Many businesses owners remain reluctant to take on the loan as they are worried they may not meet the rules to have the loan forgiven.
Last week, Congress loosened those rules giving business more flexibility on how they can spend the money and extending the time in which the money has to be spent from eight weeks to 24 weeks to achieve forgiveness.
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