July 8, 2020 / 6:25 PM / a month ago

Fed's Rosengren says demand for Main Street loans expected to grow as U.S. economy grapples with virus

July 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. economy could recover more slowly than expected from the economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus, and demand for the Federal Reserve’s Main Street lending program, which aims to support small and mid-sized businesses, could grow over time, Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren said on Wednesday.

More than 400 lenders have either registered or are in the process of signing up for the program, Rosengren said in an interview. No Main Street loans had been completed as of last week, but Rosengren said lenders are starting to receive applications from borrowers across industries.

“There are actually a lot of companies that have been badly disrupted by the pandemic,” he said. “I do expect unfortunately that the economy is going to remain weaker than many had hoped through the summer and fall and this will be an important way to make sure that firms don’t close.”

The Boston Fed, which is administering the program, published a partial list of participating lenders on Wednesday on its website here (Reporting by Jonnelle Marte;editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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