White House vows to start handing out emergency small biz loans this week

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Washington races to help independent businesses at risk of failure

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says an emergency loan program for small businesses should be up and running by Friday. Trump administration officials vow to launch a massive new loan program for small businesses by Friday in a frenetic effort to prevent them from laying off workers or going out of business as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down large segments of the economy.

The $2 trillion bipartisan financial-rescue package signed by President Trump two days ago includes $350 billion in desperately needed relief for small-company operators whose sales have plunged or whose businesses have been ordered closed. Many could fail if the widespread disruptions to the economy persist for more than a month.

The size of the loans are largely conditioned on how many workers a small business retains or rehires. […]

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