In a social media post, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said community banks have helped process many of the small business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The relief is meant to support the economy during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, CNBC reported.
Mnuchin said in a tweet, “#PPPloan now over $875,000,000 processed almost all from community banks! Big banks taking applications and will submitting them shortly.” In an earlier update, Mnuchin had posted that, “#PPPloan UPDATE $400,000,000 originated.”
In a separate tweet, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza wrote, “Latest #PaycheckProtectionProgram numbers: 2335+ loans valued at more than $889,000,000 so far. @SBAgov’s top priority is keeping small businesses open and employees on payroll.”
The news comes as Bank of America has reportedly become the first big bank to have the ability to take digital applications for the $350 billion small business loan program that is part of the COVID-19 relief package of the government. The bank’s portal came online on Friday morning (April 3) at roughly 9 a.m.
The financial institution had taken in about 10,000 requests for small business loans within hour one of beginning to take them. Small businesses have been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused some municipalities to shutter non-essential businesses.
Consumers are remaining in their residences more, purchasing less and saving what they are able, as retailers and vendors put their own measures into place to slow the contagion’s spread. The resulting fall in revenues had put many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) into an impossible situation.
The average SMB owner thinks it will take 178 days for their local economies to recover from the economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The difficulty is that they only have access to sufficient cash to last them and average of 20 days — and many have even less. One of the most common avenues SMB owners say they can use to access needed for survival is by dipping into their own savings and investments.