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A pair of customers prepare to enter Pottery Barn as the Mall of Louisiana reopened in Baton Rouge.

The U.S. Small Business Administration says businesses can still apply for federal Paycheck Protection Program funds through banks and credit unions until June 30, with more than $128 billion left in the program. 

So far through June 20, more than 70,500 businesses in Louisiana were approved loans totaling more than $7.2 billion, The SBA said.

The program was created to help businesses recover from the economic downturn during the coronavirus pandemic when non-essential businesses have been shuttered across the country. Since then, many states have been allowing businesses to reopen. Louisiana is still in Phase 2, which limits capacity in many public brick-and-mortar locations. 

Nationwide, there were more than 4.6 million loans approved totaling $515 billion across 5,456 lenders. The average loan size is $110,000 across the country. 

The loans can be forgiven if they are spent on payroll, to encourage firms to keep paying their employees or rehire workers they may have laid off. The program offers loans up to $10 million at 1% interest for companies with fewer than 500 workers meant to cover about two months of payroll. The funds must be used before the end of the year and businesses may spent 60% on payroll, down from 75% to qualify to loan forgiveness.

By comparison, there were 41,449 loans approved in Arkansas totaling $3.2 billion, 62,805 loans approved in Oklahoma for $5.4 billion. In Alabama, there were 63,121 loans approved totaling $6.1 billion and in Mississippi 44,121 loans were approved totaling $3.1 billion. 

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