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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has left much to be desired for needy small businesses around the U.S., and the overwhelming majority of recipients are about to exhaust their funding and may start laying off employees.

Why it matters: The PPP has been derided by some economists and researchers as inefficient and ineffective, but a new Goldman Sachs survey shows that even for the businesses and employees it helped, it has not been enough.

What's happening: The Goldman survey, provided first to Axios, finds 84% of PPP loan recipients will exhaust their funding by the first week of August and only 16% say they're very confident they will be able to maintain payroll if no further government relief is provided.

  • A recent survey by the right-leaning National Federation of Independent Business found 22% of PPP recipients anticipate having to lay off at least one employee after using their loan.

The big picture: The $669 billion program was meant to be a bridge between government-imposed economic shutdowns and a reopened U.S. economy that would recoup its earlier strength.

  • Goldman's survey found 77% of loan recipients were able to maintain 75%–100% of payroll.
  • But extended lockdown periods, continued fear of the virus, and the recent uptick in new infections and deaths have meant small business owners are facing more significant troubles now than when the program was launched.

By the numbers: 63% of small business owners say less than 75% of their revenue before the pandemic started has returned.

  • 60% say that less than 75% of their customers from before the pandemic started have returned.

Between the lines: The picture is even worse for Black-owned businesses, Goldman notes.

  • 34% say less than 25% of their pre-coronavirus revenue has returned (compared to 20% of survey respondents overall).
  • 7% percent are very confident they will be able to maintain payroll if no further government relief is provided (Overall: 16%).
  • 28% believe they can survive another wave of the pandemic should similar shutdown protocols become necessary (Overall: 37%).

Of note: PPP applications were extended until Aug. 8 in an 11th-hour deal before the deadline expired June 30. However, there is still around $150 billion left unclaimed as few new borrowers have been approved for loans and more money has been returned.

Go deeper

Oct 21, 2020 - Health

CDC changes "close contact" guidance for COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Noam Galai, Jamie McCarthy, Josep LAGO / AFP, Alfredo ESTRELLA / AFP, and Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto, all via Getty Images

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its definition of who is considered a “close contact” of an individual infected with the coronavirus in a report released Wednesday.

Why it matters: The update is likely to pose challenges for schools, workplaces and other group settings as the U.S. prepares for a third coronavirus wave. It also reinforces the importance of masks in the face of President Trump’s repeated attempts to belittle their efficacy.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — New York Supreme Court grants stay for indoor mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
Oct 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Boeing research shows disinfectants kill virus on airplanes

Electrostatic spraying of disinfectant. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Boeing and researchers at the University of Arizona say their experiment with a live virus on an unoccupied airplane proves that the cleaning methods currently used by airlines are effective in destroying the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why it matters: Deep cleaning aircraft between flights is one of many tactics the airline industry is using to try to restore public confidence in flying during the pandemic. The researchers say their study proves there is virtually no risk of transmission from touching objects including armrests, tray tables, overhead bins or lavatory handles on a plane.