Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

There is still well more than $100 billion available for Paycheck Protection Program loans, despite initial predictions that the late April refresh would be insufficient.

Glass half full explanation: Most qualifying small businesses that wanted a PPP loan already got one, and the economy is now reopening and recovering.

Glass half empty explanation: Many lenders, including large ones like Wells Fargo, stopped taking PPP applications. This may have been particularly problematic for small businesses that waited for loan forgiveness guidance to be finalized, which happened weeks past deadline.

Kathryn Petralia, co-founder and president of digital lending platform Kabbage, is in the latter camp — particularly when it comes to independent contractors like gig economy workers, who either didn't have existing banking relationships or found the application process to be byzantine.

  • "Around 40% of the 140,000 approved PPP loans through Kabbage have been for independent contractors, and their median loan amount is just $13,500," she says. "There aren't many banks that want to manually underwrite $14,000 PPP loans... It's just not worth their time."

What's new: Kabbage today is launching a dedicated PPP application portal for independent contractors.

  • Included is a channel for Uber drivers, in partnership with the company, whereby Uber-specific documentation will be automatically uploaded.
  • Similar arrangements could be coming soon with other gig economy companies.

The bottom line: The PPP loan application process remains open until June 30. Don't be surprised to see a last-minute surge, as non-traditional lenders like Kabbage seek out those who fell through the early cracks.

Worth noting: Sen. Marco Rubio said Monday that there will have to be at least some disclosure of PPP loan recipients, despite Treasury Department reticence. Per Rubio:

"There will be disclosure, and it's just a question of whether there’s differentiation between $100,000 loan and a $5 million loan... If you have a big loan, you know, there's no avoiding it. We’re going to need to know who you are."

Go deeper

Mnuchin says leftover PPP funds should go to hardest-hit industries

Mnuchin prepares to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. Photo: Asos Katopodis/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a congressional hearing on Tuesday that the $134 billion in leftover funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) should be repurposed and extended to businesses that have suffered the most during the coronavirus pandemic, including "restaurants and hotels."

Why it matters: Today is the last day small businesses can apply for loans via the PPP, as coronavirus cases spike and some states are pausing or rolling back reopening plans. The prospects for small businesses, many of which have already seen significant revenue drops, are devastating.

Trump extends coronavirus PPP loan application deadline to August 8

President Trump boards Air Force One on July 3. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump signed off on Saturday to give businesses another five weeks to apply for funds through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Why it matters: Roughly $130 billion in PPP funding is still available. The Small Business Administration's inspector general found in May that some rural, minority and women-owned businesses may not have gotten loans due to a lack of prioritization from the agency.

Senate passes PPP extension through August

Mitch McConnell. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Senate passed legislation by unanimous consent Tuesday night extending the application period for the Paycheck Protection Program through August 8, just hours before the federal loan program was set to expire.

Yes, but: The House still needs to pass the Senate version of the relief bill, and President Trump will need to sign off. Prospects for either are uncertain. Approximately $130 billion in PPP funding remains available.