Today is the deadline for small businesses to apply for forgivable federal Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Even for those businesses that are in the reopening process, money through this program is still available as a source relief from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
The program has had a rocky run since its launch in March under the federal CARES Act, signed into law at the start of the pandemic in an effort to help mitigate its widespread impacts.
It ran out of money quickly (and was subsequently replenished), got bad press for giving loans to big businesses that didn't need it, and was criticized for having guidelines that were too vague and difficult to understand. (It has been modified several times since its inception).
The program offered loans to cover up to eight weeks of payroll, hoping to staunch the massive growth of pandemic-related unemployment by helping small businesses retain employees and (hopefully) be in a position to recover more quickly.
More than $100 million is currently sitting in the PPP program's coffers, and could go unused if today's deadline sticks. Some are hoping it will be extended, but there's no sign of that at the moment, as the White House wants to monitor its effectiveness first.
The program had provided guarantees to almost $519 billion in loans from banks and other private lenders to nearly 4.8 million borrowers as of Saturday, according to the SBA. Based on the data, more than $134 billion in guarantees are still available.