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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Wells Fargo reiterated Monday night that it will not open up its small business Paycheck Protection Program loans to companies with more than 50 employees, despite an announcement from the Fed that it would set up a facility to buy the loans from banks.

Why it matters: Wells Fargo's announcement shows that even with a Fed backstop one of the country's largest banks will still not be participating in a program designed to help businesses on the verge of collapse because of the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The Fed's facility is designed take the loans off of banks' balance sheets, freeing them up to provide loans to more firms.

Background: Because of restrictions placed on Wells Fargo after its fake accounts scandal, the bank has told customers it must turn away struggling small business customers, as Axios' Courtenay Brown noted.

  • Customers were left wondering why the bank didn't signal its lending limitations sooner, since it has been operating under the asset cap since 2018.
  • Wells Fargo declined to comment on that or the Fed's program.

What we're hearing: The faulty rollout and bank issues associated with PPP have put the futures of companies and employees in serious jeopardy as many were counting on the program to survive the next couple months.

  • Joe Shamie, CEO of furniture manufacturer Delta Children, told Axios he has "held up [his] end of the bargain" and kept employees on payroll, even as he's had to dip into his own savings.
  • However, if he's not able to access government funding through the program soon he's not sure what comes next.

The big picture: The $350 billion government-backed program, a key part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, the CARES Act, has been plagued by problems since even before it launched on Friday.

  • Banks say they are still unable to access Small Business Administration platforms, and businesses consistently report issues accessing application forms.
  • The SBA loan processing platform crashed and was down for hours on Monday, preventing lenders from processing any loans, Bloomberg reported.

Go deeper

Robert Costa: Gen. Mark Milley "was not going rogue" with China calls

Washington Post journalist Robert Costa on Monday said in an interview with ABC's Good Morning America that Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley "was not going rogue" when told his Chinese counterpart that the U.S. would not launch a surprise attack.

Driving the news: President Biden last week expressed "great confidence" in Milley after excerpts released from Costa's and Bob Woodward's book "Peril" revealed calls where Milley admits he would let China know ahead of time if former President Trump decided to attack.

Delta variant fears curb fall flying

Travelers in the Miami International Airport. Photo: by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Continued worries about the Delta variant are derailing fall travel plans.

Driving the news: Thanksgiving domestic flight bookings in August were 18% lower this year compared with 2019, according to a new Adobe Digital Economy Index report out Monday morning.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
22 mins ago - Energy & Environment

The breadth and limits of corporate carbon moves

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

This week will showcase how more big companies are taking steps to cut emissions — and why corporate pledges only go so far.

The big picture: It's Climate Week. That's the annual New York City event that brings together businesses, governments and activists for speeches, symposiums and pledges. The event typically serves as a venue for corporations to announce their latest efforts, and that's already starting.

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