With a new cash infusion approved by Congress and signed by President Trump, the government’s forgivable loan program refreshed today. “We have strengthened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with $310 billion in additional funding,” read the statement on the Senate’s website. “Please contact your banks or lenders.” At precisely 10:30am EDT today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) re-opened its PPP application window.
Banks moved as quickly as possible, but by 10:40am, the SBA’s submission system known as E-Tran was offline. Connectivity remained sporadic all day. “Bankers are sitting there refreshing their screen every 15 minutes trying to get in,” said Paul Merski of the Independent Community Bankers of America. Many lenders reported that they could not access the SBA website at all, or were being kicked off while submitting applications on behalf of restaurateurs. Within three hours, SBA had restricted bulk submissions by 2/3rds in an attempt to reduce strain on its servers. On April 16th, SBA had exhausted all funds, totaling $342 billion.
Today is SBA’s first day with replenished funds for PPP forgivable loans. This second round of $310 billion contains $60 billion in ring-fenced funds: $30 billion for lenders with under $10 billion in assets, and $30 billion for lenders with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion.
Restaurant owners across the country were contacting their banks, hoping to be first in line. In Glendale, Arizona, the owner of La Piazza al Forno has “kept his workers across three restaurants on payroll, telling them PPP was on the way. But he’s still in the queue,” according to MSNBC.
Many restaurateurs who were denied PPP loans criticized the program for benefiting large corporations. During the first phase of PPP, less than 17% of SBA loan amounts provided were below $150,000. Yet according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, “PPP has supported more than 1.66 million small businesses and protected over 30 million jobs for hardworking Americans. With the additional funds appropriated by Congress, tens of millions of additional workers will benefit from this critical relief.”
If any readers are eligible for the loan program and have not applied, they should ensure that they submit an application as soon as possible. The fastest path to approval is to apply to through their primary bank or lender. Certain banks are processing PPP applications for non-customers, including Coastal Community Bank and others. A full list of active SBA lenders by lending volume as of last year is available here. Many of these institutions began submitting PPP applications today to the SBA.
Before applying, prepare the following documents in order to expedite your processing time. Ensure that you fill out all areas of the forms, including initials and signatures. Physically print, sign and scan your application. SBA does not accept e-signature documents.
Minimum documents required:
Additional helpful documents (requirements vary by lending institution):
In addition to PPP, there are also additional coronavirus-related relief options available to restaurant owners. SBA provides a full listing on its website. The U.S. Treasury also provides financial assistance for individual taxpayers and business owners at its website.