Apr 15, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 387 words, a breezy 2-minute read.

1 big thing: The stimulus well runs dry

A deserted downtown in Rockton, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

It's taken less than two weeks to reach the $349 billion cap for small business loans for the coronavirus stimulus.

Why it matters: This is a sign that more than 1.3 million small businesses (and some larger ones) will eventually get desperately needed cash. It's also a sign that way more might be needed.

  • Paycheck Protection Program loans are forgivable if used for payroll and rent and similar expenses, and they're designed to keep otherwise healthy businesses afloat during this crisis.

What's new: The Small Business Administration reports more than 1.4 million loan approvals totaling more than $305 billion.

  • The $349 billion funding cap is expected to be hit today, multiple media outlets say.

The big picture: In roughly a month, coronavirus lockdowns have...

  1. Caused 1 in 10 working-age Americans to file for unemployment.
  2. Put historic pressure on businesses not initially affected by the lockdown, with a second wave of layoffs hitting nationwide. (WSJ)

What's next: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke today about more cash for the program, WSJ notes.

  • Both parties generally agree on $250 billion, but Democrats want extra cash for "hospitals, food assistance and state and local governments," while Republicans want to keep the focus purely on small businesses.
Bonus: Pics du jour
Photo: Gotham/Getty Images

Above: A rainbow seen in the sky behind the Roxy Hotel marquee in NYC that says “New York Will Roar On.”

Below: The Las Vegas Strip.

Photo: John Locher/AP
2. Catch up quick
  1. Trump administration latest: Federal government doubles payment for some coronavirus tests — WHO chief reacts to Trump halting U.S. funds.
  2. Business latest: Andrew Yang said at an Axios event that "a lot of" coronavirus layoffs are "gone for good"
  3. World latest: How much money the WHO receives from the U.S. compared to China — Scoop: Israel rejected U.K. plea for ventilators.
  4. States latest: New Yorkers must wear masks when social distancing is impossible — Cuomo compared contact tracing to "trying to get Apollo 13 back to Earth 220,000 miles, 50 years ago."
3. 1 helpful thing
Photo: Ronde Colleta/Rachael Ray Show via AP

Rachael Ray is taping "#STAYHOME With Rachael" two days a week from her home, cooking low-budget meals based around pantry staples like chickpeas and pasta, AP reports.

  • She wears sweats and no makeup, offering a refreshing peek into her kitchen.
  • “This is a weird time. I can’t say there’s a silver lining ... but there are found moments every day,” she said at the start of the first at home show.
  • Ray's organizations will donate $4 million to several charities.
Mike Allen