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Some Small Businesses That Got Aid Fear the Rules Too Much to Spend It


Requirements for using federal coronavirus loans are complicated and confusing for owners. “It’s chaos,” one lawyer said.

The $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program was meant to extend a lifeline to small businesses battered by the pandemic, allowing them to keep employees on the payroll. But it has been dogged by problems. Countless small businesses couldn’t get money, and hundreds of millions of dollars instead flowed to publicly traded companies.

Now many of the small businesses that did get loans are sitting on the money, unsure about whether and how to spend it. That’s compromising the effectiveness of a program meant to help stabilize the country’s reeling economy.