Sen. Steve Daines says it's been "nice for a change to see government move at the speed of business", with more than $1.4 billion flowing to Montana businesses to help with COVID-19 impacts.
And he's confident Congress can reach agreement to provide another round of assistance, now that the original pot of money has been expended.
New numbers from the Small Business Administration today show more than 13,456 loans have been approved for Montana businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program. That money is used to help with payroll and operational expenses for businesses closed, or even slowed down, by the pandemic.
While there has been some logistical problems during the rollout, Daines notes with all the money already expended, it shows the dollars are getting where they need to be.
"I was pleased to see us stand up so quickly. We put a lot of pressure on Secretary (Steve) Mnuchin and the team, saying you've got to get this out quickly," Daines said. "And yeah, there were a few rough spots. But we're working on those every day. I've literally been in contact with Secretary Mnuchin either by texting or by phone calls. Now the task at hand is we need to put some more dollars in that fund, because it's working so well to help out small businesses. Which in Montana, that's really the core of our economy is small businesses."
Daines is hoping for a bipartisan solution in Congress to get another $250 billion appropriated for a second phase of the Payment Protection Plan as soon as possible.