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Trump offers coronavirus hit small businesses ultra-low loan rates

Evie Fordham

President Trump is promising that his administration will provide a $50 billion relief package to small business owners affected by the coronavirus outbreak as part of sweeping efforts to hinder the economic impact of the growing pandemic he announced Wednesday in an address to the nation.

Trump said he will direct the Small Business Administration to provide liquidity to states and small business owners through low-interest loans

Rates offered will be as low as 3.75 percent according to the SBA compared to the going rate pre-coronavirus of 6.5 percent to 9 percent.

“This is not a financial crisis," Trump said during a primetime address from the Oval Office. "This is just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome as a nation and as a world.”

The low-interest loans are one of several Trump-backed initiatives to reassure businesses after days of market volatility. The president said he will take executive action to provide emergency paid sick leave for workers who are ill, under quarantined or caring for others. He called for deferments on tax payments for businesses and individuals affected by coronavirus without interest or penalties, as well as immediate payroll tax relief for U.S. companies.

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Trump announced the latest measures amid a prolonged slide in U.S. stock indices and on Thursday the Federal Reserve followed suit with a $1.5 trillion injection of liquidity into the bond market.

Even so, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell into a bear market on Thursday, joining the Dow Jones Industrial Average marking a 20 percent decline from their peaks in February.

The Dow registered its worst drop since 1987 on Thursday.

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FOX Business' Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.

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