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Coronavirus: US approves $168 bln of small business loans

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The United States has approved 661,000 loans to small businesses totaling $168 billion under a program to address the fallout from the coronavirus epidemic, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday.

“We're now at 661,000 loans approved. ...$168 billion have been approved by this government," Kudlow said in an interview with Fox Business Network.

President Donald Trump had announced in March that his government would give individuals, and small and mid-sized businesses a three-month tax holiday to try to fight the economic impact of the coronavirus. It would also give affected companies $50 billion more in low-interest loans, he said.

Read more: Coronavirus: No return to normal life until the end of 2021, says US expert

A $2.3 trillion economic stimulus enacted last month allocated $349 billion to loans to small businesses hurt by the crisis that can be turned into grants if they meet certain conditions.

US consumer prices fell by the most in more than five years in March and further decreases are likely as the coronavirus outbreak suppresses demand for some goods and services, offsetting price increases related to shortages resulting from disruptions to the supply chain.

Read more: US records 1,783 coronavirus deaths in past 24 hours: Johns Hopkins