WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — Over a million loans have already been forgiven for small businesses across the nation.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that they have forgiven over 1.1 million Paycheck Protection Program Loans in the recently opened First Draw period. According to the SBA, this has totaled over $100 million in critical relief to small businesses in the country.

So far in the PPP loan period that opened on January 11, the SBA has received 1,346,125 forgiveness applications that have totaled in approximately $170.5 billion. The Administration stated that they have made a payment on nearly 85% of the applications and for the smallest borrowers, with loans up to $50 thousand, 88% have been approved for forgiveness.

Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza commented on the recent data.

“Today’s news is a key indicator that the PPP is working for all small businesses across our Nation. For any eligible small business continuing to struggle due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Program has re-opened for new and certain existing PPP borrowers, and we encourage you to take advantage of the PPP to keep your workers on payroll, regardless of any local economic restrictions on your operations. SBA is continuing to work around the clock to forgive existing PPP loans and implement the next phase of this vital Program.”

The recently reopened Paycheck Protection Program resulted from the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, signed into law by President Trump on December 27, 2020. The Act added operational expenditures, certain property damage costs, supplier costs and worker protection expenditures, such as drive-through areas, ventilation and sneeze guards, as eligible expenses as well.

The Small Business Administration stated that they are currently continuing to review loan forgiveness applications. The Second Draw for small businesses for the program officially opened on Wednesday January 13, 2021.