Loans – Lenders start processing the second round of PPP loans
Lenders started processing applications for the new Paycheck Protection Program this month, so businesses are applying for the forgivable loans.
We checked in with two smaller banks to see how the process has been going.
When the program kicked off last year, banks encountered glitches trying to process applications. Peter Alden at Bay State Savings Bank in Massachusetts said this time it’s been a lot smoother.
“I mean, we gained a lot of knowledge in the first round,” he said.
Banks have a much better sense of what to expect this time, Alden said. So do second-time borrowers.
“There’s not quite so many questions about what are the documents I have to give you and all of that,” Alden said.
At Optus Bank in South Carolina, CEO Dominik Mjartan said many applicants have been new customers applying for their first PPP loan or coming over from a different bank.
“I spent 30 minutes on the phone with a first time customer helping her with her $2,500 application,” he said.
Mjartan said so far, the average loan size is about half of what it was during the initial program. That’s because first-time applicants are seeking smaller loans.
“Generally, most of these are fairly small businesses with three to five employees,” he said, adding that that’s a sign the program’s working the way it’s supposed to.
What are the details of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan?
The $1.9 trillion plan would aim to speed up the vaccine rollout and provide financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. It would also include $1,400 checks for most Americans. Get the rest of the specifics here.
What kind of help can small businesses get right now?
A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.
What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?
New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.
As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.
Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.
Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.