Many Undeserving Borrowers Applied for PPP Loans That Have Now Been Forgiven : Consider This from NPR The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was designed to soften the financial impact of the pandemic for small businesses. It issued about $800 billion in potentially forgivable government loans to keep workers employed during COVID shutdowns.

Now, the overwhelming majority of those loans have been forgiven with very little scrutiny. That means many loans have been forgiven to businesses that flourished during the pandemic or to fraudsters who took advantage of the lax system.

Meanwhile, the majority of the loans that remain unforgiven belong to the smallest businesses, companies the program was most meant to help.

Sacha Pfeiffer and Austin Fast of NPR's Investigations team looked into how the program failed to be as stringent as the government promised.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

How PPP Loan Forgiveness Became a Messy Process with Limited Scrutiny

How PPP Loan Forgiveness Became a Messy Process with Limited Scrutiny

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The Paycheck Protection Program was part of bipartisan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Framework and was designed to limit the impact of the pandemic on small businesses. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images hide caption

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Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Paycheck Protection Program was part of bipartisan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Framework and was designed to limit the impact of the pandemic on small businesses.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was designed to soften the financial impact of the pandemic for small businesses. It issued about $800 billion in potentially forgivable government loans to keep workers employed during COVID shutdowns.

Now, the overwhelming majority of those loans have been forgiven with very little scrutiny. That means many loans have been forgiven to businesses that flourished during the pandemic or to fraudsters who took advantage of the lax system.

Meanwhile, the majority of the loans that remain unforgiven belong to the smallest businesses, companies the program was most meant to help.

Sacha Pfeiffer and Austin Fast of NPR's Investigations team looked into how the program failed to be as stringent as the government promised.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Elena Burnett. It was edited by Sami Yenigun, William Troop and Barrie Hardymon. Our executive producer is Sami Yenigun.