These days, you hear a lot about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and not in a good way.
The historic program was designed to rapidly distribute up to $659 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses across the country, helping them stay afloat and keep employees paid during the pandemic.
It’s difficult to overstate how unprecedented that number is. For context, the Small Business Administration (SBA), which runs PPP, provided a total of $28 billion in loans in 2019.
Rolling out so much money in just two months has come with complications. Banks often prioritized existing customers and their most profitable borrowers when distributing funds, leaving the smallest businesses behind. Bad actors took advantage of the program to get money they didn’t need. And as the forgiveness stage nears, there’s widespread concern over the government’s exposure to fraud.
But is that the real story of the PPP?
At this very