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Reproduced from Deutsche Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

A report from the Census Bureau finds that three out of four U.S. small businesses have sought financial assistance through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, but data show that just a fraction of those have received funding.

The state of play: While the first iteration of the PPP exhausted its $349 billion of capital in two weeks, the second round of the program still has nearly 40% of its funding left, almost three weeks after being launched.

What it means: There are more than 30 million small businesses in the country but just under 6 million have gotten the loans. That means it's likely many in need of funding haven't been able to get it or have chosen not to pursue it.

Why it matters: The PPP was designed to keep employers tied to their workers ensuring that more Americans could easily get their jobs back once the coronavirus outbreak was tamed and the economy could restart.

What happened: "Backlash against publicly traded firms that dipped into the funds, and heightened federal scrutiny have likely chased away some firms," TD Securities macro strategist Oscar Muñoz writes in a note to clients.

  • "Limits imposed on the use of the funds to cover operational expenses other than payrolls have also diminished interest."
  • "Note that loans are fully forgiven if at least 75% is used to cover payroll costs."

Between the lines: Small business owners and various trade organizations also complained that the PPP's 60-day time constraint, delayed rollout, and the way it countered newly increased unemployment benefits meant many business owners simply didn't want it and others were unable to apply.

The last word: The real success or failure of PPP won't be known until we reach the eight-week mark from when the loans were given out, Torsten Slok, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Securities, tells Axios.

  • "For the program to be a success ultimately you need to see one thing and only one thing: You need to see job growth go up in the millions in May and in June because that’s when we get closer to the deadline for companies to hire back their workers."

Go deeper: Volume of loan applications doubles in second round of PPP

Go deeper

Unemployment claims tick higher

Photo: Bridget Bennett/AFP via Getty Images

New applications for unemployment bumped higher last week, after jobless claims filings steadily dropped in recent weeks, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Why it matters: Economists are hesitant to draw too many conclusions about the broader economy from this week's higher filings alone, but they're watching for worsening effects on the labor market as Congress' stimulus negotiations stall.

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.