SUMTER, S.C. — Another round of forgivable coronavirus relief loans are now available to small businesses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Monday starting with smaller, community financial institutions (CFIs) and, in the days ahead, will extend to larger banks.
"The first round, a lot of your larger banks were first to get out the chute, so to speak, and a lot of the money went to some of the larger loans, larger businesses, and some of your smaller, rural areas and smaller borrowers were not able to get access to the funds as quick as they needed to," Gregg White, District Director at SBA of South Carolina, said. “So, this second round is going to allow CFI’s, Minority Depository Institutions, Certified Development Companies, and Microloan Intermediaries to focus in on the rural areas, minority areas that actually had a hard time getting access to the funds the first round.”
In general, first-time borrowers with fewer than 500 employees could get up to 10 million. Those who received loans previously should have fewer than 300 employees and a 25 percent drop in quarterly revenue to qualify for up to 2 million.
In the first days, the loan program will accept “First Draw PPP” loan applications, which represent first-time borrowers, from the smaller, community financial institutions. On January 13, participating CFIs can begin submitting applications for “Second Draw PPP” loans, representing those who previously received a loan.
A few days later, additional lenders will be able to submit First and Second Draw PPP loan applications, according to the SBA.
It’s good news for businesses like Team Robinson of Sumter.
“It’s vital when it comes to paying your rent, your utilities and, of course, paying your staff,” Jerome Robinson, the owner, said. “I think any type of financial assistance is greatly appreciated.”
He’s planning to apply in the coming days.
“I think it’s certainly something that’s going to be welcome as we continue into 2021 because of the uncertainty with business, and consumer spending, and consumer confidence,” Sumter Greater Chamber of Commerce CEO Chris Hardy said. “It’s something that I know is appreciated…. Any of them that do get it, I know it’s going to be beneficial to them.”
White says the SBA is developing a database of participating lenders. In the meantime, those interested can call the state office at 803-765-5377 or visit their website to be referred to or matched with a participating lender.