Administration of the Paycheck Protection Program and COVID-related loans and grants were the responsibility of the Small Business Association. However, due in part to the extraordinary demands for funds, the SBA fell short of helping all small business owners who needed funds. Since March 2020, the SBA issued close to $211 billion in loans, three times as much as in the previous 68 years. The agency fell short because it did not have the leadership or systems in place to quickly respond to a national crisis of the magnitude of the pandemic. The overwhelming demands on the SBA meant that many small business owners were left waiting in the dark about their applications while the agency struggled to respond to a deluge of applications. The speed and lack of timely safeguards also made it possible for many applicants to exploit those loopholes to receive funds they were not entitled to.
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