Danielle Kurtzleben

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast. She is covering the 2020 presidential election, with particular focuses on on economic policy and gender politics.

Before joining NPR in 2015, Kurtzleben spent a year as a correspondent for Vox.com. As part of the site's original reporting team, she covered economics and business news.

Prior to Vox.com, Kurtzleben was with U.S. News & World Report for nearly four years, where she covered the economy, campaign finance and demographic issues. As associate editor, she launched Data Mine, a data visualization blog on usnews.com.

A native of Titonka, Iowa, Kurtzleben has a bachelor's degree in English from Carleton College. She also holds a master's degree in global communication from George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.

The Small Business Administration on Wednesday will temporarily allow only the smallest financial institutions to access the small business coronavirus relief program, known as the Paycheck Protection Program.

The move to restrict access comes after concerns that the smallest of businesses, and particularly those owned by people of color, were shut out of the first round of the program, which ran out of money in 13 days.

Christian Piatt finally got a loan to help rescue his brand-new bar and restaurant in Granbury, Texas.

But it wasn't easy.

He applied through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which is meant to help small businesses threatened by the pandemic. One bank told him it couldn't lend through the program. Another told him he might have better luck elsewhere. The third approved his loan and he got the money.

Now he's wondering: How should he use his $34,000 loan?

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Small businesses, already hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, can't seem to catch a break.

On the first day of the reopened Paycheck Protection Program, a key lifeline from Congress, banks are reporting that the Small Business Administration's portal is not working.

Bankers told NPR on Monday that the system, known as E-Tran, would not allow them to enter loan application information that is needed for small businesses to access the program.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Saving jobs is at the heart of Congress' coronavirus small-business rescue program. But as NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben reports, even when some businesses receive the money, they're not sure how to use it.

Until a few weeks ago, Melissa St. Hilaire worked the night shift taking care of a 95-year-old woman for a family in Miami.

"I help her to go to the bathroom, use the bathroom, and I watch TV with her, and I comb her hair sometimes in the night," she said.

But one day in March, the woman's daughter told her not to come back, saying she wanted to protect her mother during the coronavirus pandemic.

As if small businesses didn't have enough trouble, the Small Business Administration has notified nearly 8,000 businesses that their information may have been exposed to other businesses via the agency's website.

The application portal for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is the culprit, as CNBC's Kate Rogers reported Tuesday. She also reported that the SBA learned of the problem on March 25.

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Elizabeth Warren has now fully thrown her support behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the presidential race. She has even said, without question, that she would serve as his vice president.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program to boost small businesses during the coronavirus economic crisis has run out of money.

The IRS says coronavirus economic relief checks are going out "without delay."

The agency's statement comes after The Washington Post reported that President Trump's name would be included on the checks, an unprecedented step. Senior IRS officials told the Post that the extra step would delay the payments by a few days.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Greg Hunnicutt has almost entirely shut down his Houston-based construction business. At his one remaining job site, he's being careful to minimize the risk of anyone being exposed to the coronavirus. So he keeps fewer workers on the job.

"My electrician is there now doing some work," he said. "It's just him and his helper. So what I'm trying to accomplish here is reducing how people interact."

Starting today, small businesses can apply for the nearly $350 billion in loans available through the economic rescue plan from Congress.

The loan program, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, is intended to support businesses so they can ride out the tough economic times and, most importantly, assist with either keeping current workers or rehire those who were laid off.

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