REGION – On Friday, April 3 and over the weekend, the banking industry in Vermont mobilized to help distribute a portion of the $349 billion in emergency Small Business Administration loans to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the CARES Act passed by Congress.
“Banks in Vermont received the final guidance late Thursday evening and by Friday morning, many of them had put the systems in place to begin taking applications. Those who needed some additional time launched their programs on Monday morning. Over the course of 72 hours, our banks submitted and received approval for 769 applications resulting in $336.8 million of loan commitments. As we continue to take applications, banks will now begin to turn their attention to closing those loans,” said Christopher D’Elia, president of the Vermont Bankers Association.
Despite the early success, there are still many issues that need to be resolved with the program. The banking community in Vermont is working with the U.S. Treasury and the SBA to ensure the right processes and procedures are in place to make the loan program work. “We understand that some businesses are frustrated, but each bank is doing its best. There may be times when a bank can more quickly work with existing customers because they’ve already gone through the standard ‘know your customer’ vetting process that is required by the program. However, all of our banks are working day and night to loan money to new and existing customers, as quickly as the process will allow,” D’Elia said.
Small business customers interested in applying for the loans are encouraged to reach out to their bank, get key documentation ready about payroll and eligible expenses, and be ready to complete applications.
Details for borrowers, including a sample loan application form, are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration website at www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options.