The deadline for small businesses to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan is Tuesday, June 30. To speed the application process, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has reconfigured its Lender Match online portal<https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/lender-match> to connect borrowers with PPP lenders quickly.
“The SBA has streamlined its lending processes and added more flexibility for borrowers that make these forgivable loans even more appealing,” said Regional Administrator Justin Crosse, South Central Region. “I’m urging small business and eligible organizations to apply now to access the more than $128 billion still available.”
Once a business owner submits their information on the Lender Match platform, they receive emails from lenders willing to accept their PPP application within two days. A PPP application can be started directly from these emails.
PPP loans can fund employee paychecks and other small business expenses. If spent according to the more flexible guidelines, the loan is eligible for forgiveness and paid by the federal government.
Most PPP loans are going to smaller firms. The average loan size is $110,000; and, two-thirds of PPP loans are for up to $50,000.
The SBA has also placed a particular focus on reaching underserved small businesses. They have distributed more than one million loans by lenders who specialize in helping underserved communities; and, low-income counties received 45% of PPP loans.
The enactment of the PPP Flexibility Act extends the covered period for loan forgiveness from eight weeks after the date of disbursement to 24 weeks, providing substantially greater flexibility for borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness.
It also adjusts the minimum amount of loan proceeds borrowers use for payroll costs to qualify for forgiveness from 75% down to 60%.
A PPP loan is to keep employees on payroll and help businesses return to the way they were before February 15, 2020. However, the Flexibility Act provides a safe harbor for firms having difficulty rehiring employees or finding new qualified employees through December 31, 2020.
Additionally, the SBA launched a dedicated online tool<https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/sba-rolls-out-dedicated-tool-small-businesses-connect-cdfis-small-asset-lenders-participating-ppp> for small businesses and non-profits to be matched with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), Farm Credit System lenders, Microlenders, as well as traditional smaller asset size lenders in the PPP.
As of June 20<https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/PPP_Report_200620.pdf>, the SBA has approved more than 4.6 million PPP loans valued at nearly $515 billion. The following is a summary of approved PPP loans in the South Central Region: