US winds down small business aid program that gave $800 bn

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Washington (AFP) – The US government on Tuesday closed the books on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that extended a nearly $800-billion lifeline to small businesses to keep them afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Created by the CARES Act rescue package in March 2020, the PPP emergency aid measure offered low-cost loans to small businesses which did not have to be repaid if certain conditions were met. In a statement announcing its May 31 closure, Small Business Administration chief Isabella Casillas Guzman said the program provided $798 billion to 8.5 million small firms and nonprofits a…

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