Stepping up for Small Business with PPP Funding
For months now, every facet of “normal” life has been upended by COVID-19. Where and how we work, learn, shop, socialize and even bank have all been affected. Yet, the bright spot amid this sea of change has been America’s enduring spirit as friends and neighbors work together to stay safe, remain connected, and support one another.
A great example of coming together for the greater good is how the nation’s 5,000 community banks rallied around small businesses, which account for roughly 48 percent of the U.S. workforce and serve as the backbone of our nation’s economy.
When stay-at-home orders forced millions of small businesses to curtail or close their operations, community banks like New Market Bank stepped in to lend support.
So, when the Small Business Administration (SBA) turned on the spigot for its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), New Market Bank mobilized every available resource at our disposal to process these loans.
I could not be prouder of our team members, many of whom worked nights and weekends or assumed new roles to get the job done and ensure critical funds were delivered to those who needed it most. In just 15 weeks, we processed 341 loans totaling over $25 million, helping to save hundreds of jobs within Lakeville, Prior Lake, Elko New Market and the surrounding areas. To provide a bit of context, that loan volume represents 650 percent of what we typically process in a 3-month period.
FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams recently referred to community banks as “the small engines that could and did deliver big,” and the numbers certainly seem to support that description. According to the SBA summary of loan approvals through June 6, lenders with less than $50 billion in assets have accounted for more than 65 percent of the 4.5 million approved PPP loans and more than 63 percent of the $511 billion in funds approved since the program's launch. Nationwide, community banks have received hundreds of loan applications through the program, averaging in size from less than $50,000 to more than $500,000, according to a recent ICBA survey.
Even before the PPP launched, we had begun offering our small businesses options for modifications of loan terms, payment deferrals for up to six months, and adjustments to terms to create lower payments. And we continue to seek ways to contribute to our economy and support local businesses.
When times are tough, local community banks can be depended upon and trusted. We consider it our privilege and duty to ensure the financial health and welfare of our communities. So, we will continue to do what is right for all who call the south metro home, including the many beloved local small businesses that help keep our Main Streets thriving.