By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Banks can begin submitting applications Monday under shored-up Paycheck Protection Program
11302017 ECONOMY

Update, April 25: Banks can begin submitting loan applications under the Payroll Protection Program, which got a $250 billion boost last week from Congress, at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 27, Small Business Administration regional director Ashley Bell said Sunday, April 26.

Banks can submit applications for loans already being sought by businesses before the first round of money for the program was exhausted, or "new applications while funds last," Bell said.

In just 90 minutes, $3.2 billion in loans to 1,800 businesses nationally were approved, Small Business Administration regional director Ashley Bell said.

Georgia totals weren’t immediately known.

“We won’t have state breakdowns for a few days,” Bell said.

The initial $349 billion set aside for the Paycheck Protection Program ran out on April 16, after being available for fewer than two weeks. An additional $310 billion for the program was approved last week.

Bell said that $60 billion of that amount is “dedicated to small businesses that do not have pre-existing relationships with banks. This will help rural and many minority-owned businesses.”


Update, April 17: Funding ran out Thursday, April 16, for the program, said U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R- Gainesville.

He supports a call by the White House to pump another $250 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program.

“Small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, more Georgians are losing their jobs, and they need help now,” Collins said in an emailed statement to The Times.


Update, April 15: The stimulus money available for Small Business Administration loans could run out this week “at the rate we’re going,” Small Business Administration regional director Ashley Bell said Wednesday, April 15.

As of Tuesday, April 14, the figure approached $280 billion nationally, he said.

The total amount in the federal rescue package for small businesses was $349 billion.

“The demand (for loans) is still very strong,” Bell said.

As of Wednesday, there were 29,423 loans approved for Georgia businesses, nonprofit organizations and churches, and a statewide total $6.725 billion in loans, he said.

The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program began April 3 as a way for the government to issue potentially forgivable loans to cover 2 ½ months of payroll, rent, mortgage interest and utility bills, regional director Ashley Bell said.

The loan limit is $10 million.

“The goal is we want businesses not to let people go during this time,” Bell said in an earlier interview. “We want them to keep their employees.”

Employees laid off since Feb. 15 “can be factored into this loan amount,” so they could potentially be rehired, he said.

“Then, if you can show your lender that on June 30 that you kept (employees) on payroll, then we can forgive the entire loan,” Bell said.

The turnaround time on SBA loans is about two weeks, Bell has said.

On Wednesday, he said, “We’ve had people that had money in hand the same day.”

Also, businesses can seek a $10,000 emergency advance against the loan at sba.gov until the loan is approved, and it doesn’t have to be paid back if the loan is denied. Businesses can receive those amounts within 72 hours, Bell said.


Update, April 5:  U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza has clarified that all faith-based organizations impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, without restrictions based on their religious identity or activities.

“Following the passage of the emergency economic relief assistance, the Administration and Congress acted to ensure that small businesses and non-profits alike have access to critical funds to keep their workers paid and employed,” Carranza said in a statement. “Faith-based organizations have always provided critical social services for people in need, and SBA will make clear that these organizations may access this emergency capital.”


Business owners, including those self-employed, can start taking advantage of a key economic stimulus provision on Friday, April 3.

They can approach a bank that issues U.S. Small Business Administration loans and apply for potentially forgivable loans to cover 2 ½ months of payroll, rent, mortgage interest and utility bills, regional director Ashley Bell said.

The loan limit is $10 million.

“The goal is we want businesses not to let people go during this time,” Bell said. “We want them to keep their employees.”

Employees laid off since Feb. 15 “can be factored into this loan amount,” so they could potentially be rehired, he said.

“Then, if you can show your lender that on June 30 that you kept (employees) on payroll, then we can forgive the entire loan,” Bell said.

The turnaround time on SBA loans is about two weeks, Bell said.

He said businesses can seek a $10,000 emergency advance against the loan at sba.gov until the loan is approved, and it doesn’t have to be paid back if the loan is denied. Businesses can receive those amounts within 72 hours.

The advance is being made possible because Georgia was declared a major disaster by the federal government, Bell said.

Also, he noted, “if you currently have an SBA loan, we’re going to make the payment for you for six months.”

“In how we recover from this, Friday is going to be a big day,” Bell said. “That’ll be our first big step out of this hole.”

And it’s definitely a challenging time for businesses.

Jobless claims have soared the past two weeks amid a widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.

In the week ending March 28, the number of initial jobless claims was a record 6.6 million, an increase of 3.3 million from the previous week's revised level, according to a U.S. Department of Labor news release issued Thursday, April 2.

The Georgia Department of Labor processed 133,820 claims during the week of March 22-28, the highest number of claims it has ever processed in a week, the department reported Thursday, April 2.

Regional events