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June 12, 2020 3:53pm

GLI’s Guide to the Main Street Lending Program

The Main Street Lending Program is a federal business financing program administered by the Federal Reserve to support small and medium-sized businesses impacted by COVID-19. Authorized by Congress through the CARES Act, the program has a funding level of $600 billion. The Federal Reserve has not yet announced an official start date, but interested businesses are encouraged to begin preparing to apply and check their eligibility.


Eligible businesses must meet the following requirements:

  • Established before March 13, 2020
  • Meet standard U.S. Small Business Administration eligibility requirements
  • Have no more than 15,000 employees or 2019 annual revenues of no more
    than $5 billion
  • Be primarily based in the United States
  • Read more about eligibility requirements here and here.
  • Note: Paycheck Protection Program recipients are eligible.

Loan Options

The program features three different loan programs. See the chart below provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

EBITDA: Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (more information)
LIBOR: London Interbank Offer Rate, a common benchmark interest rate index (more information)

How to apply

Any U.S. federally-insured depository institutions (including banks, savings associations, and credit unions) as well as any U.S. branch or affiliate of a foreign bank are eligible lenders. Interested businesses should contact lenders to see if they intend to participate in the program. Additional application instructions are expected.

Additional Resources