A network of community banks and financial institutions is gearing up to implement one of the most ambitious economic relief programs in U.S. history as small businesses across the country weather the coronavirus and its economic fallout.

The $2 trillion coronavirus relief package signed last week, officially known as the CARES Act, includes nearly $350 billion for a federal small business loan program called the Paycheck Protection Program. The program is designed to get cash in the hands of suffering small businesses quickly, with less red tape and fewer guardrails than the SBA’s existing loan programs. It is designed to incentivize business owners to keep employees on payroll by offering them loan forgiveness.

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