Update: As of Thursday, April 16, the program has reached its spending limit. More information here.
A federal program is paying out $349 billion to small businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The Paycheck Protection Program aims to provide funds so businesses can continue to pay their workers during this time.
It's part of the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act which was signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, March 27. It's a $2.2 trillion bill that is being allocated to help individuals and businesses across the country.
Starting Friday, April 3, businesses that employ fewer than 500 workers can apply for a loan up to $10 million. These loans are forgivable .5% interest loans.
On April 10 independent contractors and people who are self-employed can apply.