COVID-19 News: April 27

Here’s an overview of some of the latest COVID-19 coronavirus developments on the government and tech fronts:

SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program Open for Applications

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a loan program administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and designed to help small businesses keep workers on their payrolls during the coronavirus pandemic, resumed accepting applications from lenders today.

The PPP was established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, March 27, and as of April 16, 2020, the SBA had guaranteed 1.66 million loans under the program worth $349 billion. Legislation signed by President Trump last week authorized another $320 billion of loans.

An application for the program can be found here.

CBO Estimates Continued Economic Decline in Q2

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects a 12 percent decline in the U.S. inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) during the second quarter of 2020, it said in its latest projections of key economic variables.

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According to CBO, the reduction is equivalent to a decline at an annual rate of 40 percent for that quarter. Further CBO estimates that the unemployment rate will average close to 14 percent for the second quarter, and the Federal budget deficit will be about $3.7 trillion.

 

“The economy will experience a sharp contraction in the second quarter of 2020 stemming from factors related to the pandemic, including the social distancing measures put in place to contain it,” CBO said. “In the third quarter, economic activity is expected to increase, as concerns about the pandemic diminish and state and local governments ease stay-at-home orders, bans on public gatherings, and other measures restraining economic activity.” CBO added that challenges in the economy and labor market are expected to persist.

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