A popular government-backed small-business loan program to aid companies that have suffered due to the coronavirus is back, with some fixes to earlier flaws in the forgivable, low-interest loans but also several of the same loopholes that can benefit bigger operators over Main Street mom-and pop shops.


Caroline Ciccone, the executive director of Accountable.US, which has been critical of the Paycheck Protection Program, calls the exclusion of public companies, as well as the lowering of the employee cap to 300, a meaningful improvement. But she says there is still a wide gap between what most people think is a small business and a company that employs 300 people.

“The argument is that we need to get the money out as fast as possible,” said Accountable.US’ Ciccone. “But look at what happened in the first waves of this. There was tens of billions of dollars of fraud. At the very least, you should be maintaining the very limited vetting standards that are normally in place.”