WASHINGTON, D.C. The coronavirus pandemic has left thousands of small businesses facing the very real, very painful possibility of shuttering their doors and letting their employees go. Small business owners have been promised help by the federal government under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. But many have already been rejected and run into frustrating roadblocks in a chaotic application process. And predictably, the Trump Small Business Administration is deflecting blame onto anyone but themselves. A video obtained by the Washington Post shows one SBA official passing the buck to banks after financial institutions have complained of a lack of clear federal guidance for approving the loans.

No time for the blame game: A new Federal Reserve report shows one-in-five small businesses considered “healthy” in 2019 could not survive the prospect of operating in the red for two months.   

“Many severely stretched small businesses don’t have the luxury of waiting for the SBA and banks to get on the same page,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Instead of channeling the President who takes no ‘responsibility at all’, the SBA needs to work overtime to remove any and all barriers that exist between the banks and the struggling loan applicants.” 


A high-level Small Business Administration official criticized several big banks over their reticence to get involved in a $349 billion federally subsidized small business lending program, in a recorded teleconference obtained by The Washington Post.

The comments from SBA Nevada district director Joseph Amato offer a rare candid glimpse behind the scenes at the frustrations federal officials face as they work with banks to quickly ramp up one of the most ambitious economic stimulus programs in American history. 


Addressing criticisms that the SBA did not release its regulatory documents quickly enough, Amato said: “So what they are saying is ‘I don’t give … a hoot about the small businesses … what I care about is whether or not I have enough paperwork. It’s just crazy.”


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