Fed’s Main St. Loan Program Going Mostly to $1 Million-Plus Borrowers

The Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program, aimed at supporting small to mid-size businesses through the coronavirus pandemic, has mostly made loans in the millions of dollars, accordingdata disclosed by the central bank Tuesday.

Of the 118 loans bought by the Fed’s program through the end of August, only 11 were under $1 million. Only one, at $265,000 was close to the$250,000 minimum loan size.

The Fed initiallyannounced the program with a minimum loan size of $1 million in April. It reduced it twice, bringing it to the existing minimum after it received comments from businesses and industry groups calling for more aid to smaller entities.

Very small businesses had access to the Paycheck Protection Program, which sawloans averaging $107,000. Unlike the Main Street facility, PPP lending is forgiven provided that certain criteria are met.

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Overall, the $600 billion program has made $1.2 billion in loans, the Fed said in a separatedisclosure last week. That includes $741 million in loans in the Priority facility, $306 million in the New Loan facility and $82 million for two loans in the Expanded facility.

Companies in 24 states have received Main Street loans, with Florida seeing the greatest volume at $332 million in borrowing.

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