April 30, 2020 / 2:02 PM / a month ago

Federal Reserve to expand reach of Main Street lending program

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve on Thursday said it was expanding the scope and eligibility of its soon-to-launch “Main Street Lending Program” to reach a greater range of small- and medium-sized businesses seeking emergency financing to weather the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fed, which announced it was creating the program three weeks ago, said it was making the changes after receiving input from more then 2,000 businesses and individuals. Key changes to the program include lowering the minimum loan size for certain loans to $500,000 from $1 million, expanding the pool of eligible businesses and creating a new loan option, with increased risk sharing by lenders for borrowers with greater leverage.

Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir and Howard Schneider; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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