Today, the U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) announced substantial changes to and an expansion of its Main Street Lending Program authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide financing to small and midsize businesses. Today’s announcement is in response to comments the Federal Reserve received from approximately 2,200 individuals, businesses and nonprofits, solicited when it initially announced the Main Street Lending Program. The Federal Reserve is seeking to provide a wider set of small and midsized businesses access to the financing.
Among other things, the Federal Reserve lowered the minimum loan size for certain loans to $500,000 (previously the minimum loan size was $1 million), raised the maximum loan size for certain loans, and for all loans expanded the eligibility to businesses with up to 15,000 employees or $5 billion in 2019 annual revenue (previously, eligibility was limited to businesses with up to 10,000 employees and $2.5 billion in 2019 annual revenue). The Federal Reserve also clarified many other important aspects of the program through revised term sheets and a set of FAQs. For the first time, the Federal Reserve also specifically excluded certain businesses from the program, namely those ineligible for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, with some modifications (the first time the Main Street program has been linked to any SBA rules).
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