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Published: Apr 23, 2020 6 min read
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Small business owners thought they’d landed a lifeline when Congress approved $349 billion worth of “Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)” loans earlier this month.

Within two weeks, though, that money ran out — scooped up, in no small part, by companies like Potbelly Corp., a national fast food chain with over 400 locations, and Hallador Energy, a coal-mining company that brought in $323 million in revenue last year.

Both of those companies received $10 million in federal aid each, public filings show; money Congress designated to aid thousands of family restaurants, mom and pop shops, and other small businesses struggling to survive COVID-19’s economic warpath.

And while the Senate has already approved a second stimulus package replenishing the loan program with another $320 billion (which is going to the House for vote and President Trump is expected to sign within the next few days) the number of small businesses already queued up in the system “will more than use that up,” says Anne Zimmerman, a certified public accountant and co-chair of Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform.