June 9, 2020 at 3:54 PM EDT
Following messy start, enormous Paycheck Protection Program shows signs of buttressing economy
After a flood of complaints, balky computer systems, changed rules and frantic calls to the Treasury Department, the federal government’s small-business Paycheck Protection Program is suddenly looking like a measured success.
The U.S. economy buckled in March and April amid the coronavirus pandemic, but it appeared to regain some of its footing in May, adding 2.5 million jobs. The economy remains extremely weak, with a high unemployment rate and a surge in Americans seeking assistance. Many economists say conditions will remain shaky for at least another year.
But they also say things would be even worse without the giant corporate loan-forgiveness program, which Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) shepherded through Congress and then helped defend during chaotic weeks of implementation.
By Jonathan O’Connell, Jeanne Whalen, Jeff Stein and Erica Werner