Inside banks’ efforts to unleash $350 billion lifeline for businesses


Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury secretary, right, speaks beside U.S. President Donald Trump during a Coronavirus Task Force news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Kevin Dietsch | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Banks are scrambling to process a growing backlog of applications for the U.S. program designed to funnel at least $350 billion in relief to small businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Massive demand for the program in its first week has been met with several time-consuming bottlenecks at lenders and with the Small Business Administration portal the companies use to get loans approved.

For instance, the…


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