WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tuesday is the last day for small businesses to apply for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program.
About 4.8 million businesses received a PPP loan, with a total of $519 billion lent out. But as of Tuesday, there's still more than $130 billion left in the pot.
As to why that is, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council says there's a few reasons, like concerns over how much would actually be forgiven, constantly changing rules, and strict limits to how the money can be used.
“Not all businesses are the same. So, you know you've got businesses with high overhead, maybe few on payroll,” said Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO of the SBE Council. “This program really didn't align with their needs.”
Business owners and advocacy groups complain that the money in the PPP was not fully put to work because it created obstacles that stopped countless small businesses from applying.
A report from a research group says the program’s shortcomings also made it more difficult for minority businesses to get loans.
The owners of a Colorado brewery who got a PPP loan say it helped, but only goes so far.
"It didn't solve the problems. What it did was sustain us for a few more months."
The SBE Council is working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for further policy solutions. They're pushing to broaden what expenses can be forgiven, especially when it comes to technology.
Through a survey, the group found 87% of small businesses said they wouldn't have been able to survive without cloud-based services.
“We know that consumers are on social media and technology platforms looking for new businesses, looking for new brands, looking for new things that they need, and that's where small businesses can really fill that gap,” said Kerrigan.
The Small Business Administration says it will be up to Congress to decide what to do with leftover funds from the PPP.