FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before the Senate Finance Committee during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2020. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that community banks have processed hundreds of small-business loans aimed at shoring up the economy during the global coronavirus pandemic, and sounded a positive note about a new program that lenders have greeted with skepticism.
“The system is up and running. Community banks have already processed over 700 loans processed for $2,500,000. Great work!!” Mnuchin wrote on Twitter. “Large banks expected to go live soon this morning as well.”
Mnuchin pressed ahead with launching the $349 billion rescue loan program after conceding to bank demands to fix aspects that might create legal and financial risks.
In the hopes of keeping small businesses afloat, and their workers employed, the government created loans of up to $10 million to cover about eight weeks of payroll and some other expenses such as rent and utilities.
Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky