The Fed is decreasing the minimal mortgage degree for the small enterprise mortgage program


The Federal Reserve has lowered the barriers to its smaller business loan program to make the underutilized facility more attractive.

In another change to the Main Street Lending program, the Fed announced on Friday that it would reduce the minimum loan size from $ 250,000 to $ 100,000 and ease debt restrictions for companies already participating in the Paycheck Protection Program.

The program is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses weather the Covid-19 pandemic and has so far issued nearly 400 loans totaling $ 3.7 billion. The total capacity of the MSLP is $ 600 billion, thanks to $ 75 billion in treasury collateral that can be used.

In a press release, the Fed said the changes were "two key ways to better serve smaller businesses that employ millions of people and continue to suffer from declining revenues due to the pandemic."

The Main Street program is part of a series of facilities the Fed launched shortly after the pandemic escalated in early March.

However, both borrowers and lenders have complained that some of the loan terms are too strict and the fees are more onerous than they are willing to pay. Where the PPP loans can be made under many circumstances, the Main Street loans do not further dampen their appeal.

The other change, aside from the minimum credit requirement, exempts up to $ 2 million in PPP loans when calculating applicants' debt burden. The Fed also said it was adjusting fees "to encourage the provision of these smaller loans."

The move comes amid mounting concerns about an economic slowdown towards winter, triggered by both a surge in coronavirus cases and an ongoing stalemate on Capitol Hill over further fiscal easing. Fed officials have repeatedly called for more incentives from Congress, but the White House and Congressional Democrats have failed to reconcile their competing proposals.

Main Street loans are for businesses with fewer than 15,000 employees or sales of $ 5 billion or less in 2019. In addition to the program, the Fed has bought corporate bonds and issued loans and injections of cash in a variety of markets.


Katherine Clark