The Federal Reserve has opened its Main Street Lending Program for small and mid-size businesses, encouraging lenders to start making loans in the much-anticipated program immediately, the Fed’s Boston Bank said on its website.

Lenders are now able to register through the Boston Fed, which will administer it. The Fed will begin purchasing 95% of loans made through the program’s three facilities “soon,” the Boston Fed said.

“Lenders can find the necessary registration documents on the program site and are encouraged to begin making Main Street program loans immediately,” the Boston Fed said.

The program will lend up to US$600 billion through the three facilities, each of which will make slightly different loans to businesses with up to 15,000 employees or US$5 billion in revenue last year. Loans will range in size from US$250,000 to US$300 million for an expansion of existing debt.