Nearly 17,000 small businesses in Maine have received emergency loan funding totaling nearly $2.25 billion through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ office said Tuesday.

Throughout New England, nearly 107,000 businesses received forgivable loans totaling $20.8 billion through the program, part of the federal CARES Act passed in late March, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“The Paycheck Protection Program is saving millions of jobs and providing much-needed relief to help New England’s small businesses make it through this challenging time,” said Wendell G. Davis, the SBA’s New England regional administrator, in a news release.

Nationally, there have been about 1.7 million approvals for loans totaling $342.28 billion through 4,975 lenders, according to the SBA. That is more than 14 years’ worth of SBA loans processed in less than 14 days, it said.

About three-quarters of the loans were for less than $150,000, demonstrating the program’s accessibility to very small businesses, the SBA said.

The program provided funds to a wide variety of industries in all sectors of the economy, including construction, manufacturing, food and hospitality services, health care, agriculture and retail, among many others, it said.

The $349 billion program ran out of money Thursday, and ongoing negotiations between Congress and the Trump administration to provide additional funding for the program have yet to bear fruit.

However, Congress reached a tentative agreement Tuesday with President Trump on a $480 billion coronavirus relief bill that would pump an additional $320 billion into the payroll loan program, according to Collins, R-Maine, who is one of its creators.

“Before it ran out of money, the Paycheck Protection Program I co-authored provided $2.24 billion to 16,699 small Maine employers in less than two weeks, supporting an estimated 180,000 Maine jobs,” Collins said in a statement. “The need for additional funding continues to be high. For example, one community bank in Maine has nearly 300 pending applications from self-employed individuals who are requesting an average forgivable loan amount of $26,000.”

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