(Press Release) – Virginia banks of all sizes have been working around-the-clock to provide loans through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), processing 26,880 applications totaling more than $6.6 billion as of April 13 according to the SBA.
“Bankers are working as hard and as fast as they can, into the night and through the weekend, to process and disburse PPP funds to struggling small businesses that are continuing to pay their employees,” explained Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) President & CEO Bruce Whitehurst. “This is an unprecedented time for bankers and borrowers.”
The PPP, which is part of the $2 trillion economic stimulus package signed into law last month, allocated up to $349 billion in fully forgivable loans to help small businesses maintain payrolls during the coronavirus pandemic. Applications went live on Friday, April 3 for businesses and Friday, April 10 for self-employed individuals and independent contractors.
The industry continues to seek SBA and Treasury clarification on issues that have arisen as banks work to execute this unparalleled federal lending program. As of April 13, 1,035,086 loans have been made, totaling $247.5 billion from 4,664 lenders across the country. The banking industry is actively urging Congress to allocate additional funding to the PPP so that banks can continue to serve as many small businesses as possible.
“The significant impact so many small businesses have seen from this pandemic crisis is evident in the overwhelming demand for PPP loans,” said Lloyd Harrison, president and CEO of Virginia Partners Bank in Fredericksburg and chairman of the Virginia Association of Community Banks (VACB). “My bank and all other banks in Virginia are committed to helping small businesses at this most critical time.”
“As the chairman of the VBA, I’ve had the privilege to be on the frontline to see what all banks, large and small, throughout the Commonwealth are doing during these challenging times,” said Jeff Haley, president and CEO of American National Bank & Trust Co. in Danville and chairman of the VBA. “Not only are bankers running banks like they normally do, but there are countless examples of how they are helping the communities in which they live and work. As bankers, we are only as good as our communities, and we are fully committed to helping in any way we can. The PPP is one way we are able to assist these communities at their time of need.”
“Working with small businesses is the backbone of what banks do, and Virginia banks were helping their small business customers with a range of assistance programs before the government approved this new SBA initiative,” said Steve Yeakel, president and CEO of the VACB. “The PPP is an added and critical tool, but there are also other options available to small businesses in need. Business customers should reach out to their bank to find a solution that best fits their individual situation.”
If you would like to schedule an interview with Virginia Bankers Association President & CEO Bruce Whitehurst on this issue or any other banking industry topics, please email him at bruce@vabankers.org. To interview Steve Yeakel, president and CEO of Virginia Association of Community Banks, email him at syeakel@vacb.org.