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Fed Expands Main St. Lending Program For Small Businesses

The $600 billion Main Street Lending Program has been expanded by the Federal Reserve to serve smaller businesses.

The program was first announced April 9, but has not officially started yet. The start date is to be "announced soon."

The minimum loan amount under the program will now be $500,000 for new loans and priority loans, down from the originally proposed $1 million, with an eye toward opening up the program to smaller businesses.

The "expanded" loan type will be a minimum of $10 million, designed for larger businesses.

The program is funded by $75 billion from the the $2.3 trillion CARES Act signed into law March 27 and is part of a larger $454 billion in CARES Act funding earmarked for the Fed to help backstop programs meant to help businesses.

The goal is to boost the Fed’s ability to add credit to the existing monetary system, increasing the overall amount of lending dollars available to lend and also fueling a number of programs put into place to help businesses recover from the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

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