Lenders have started processing claims for new paycheck protection program this month, companies therefore apply for forgivable loans.

We checked with two smaller banks to see how the process was going.

When the program started last year, banks encountered problems processing applications. Peter Alden of Bay State Savings Bank in Massachusetts said this time it turned out much better.

“I mean, we got a lot of knowledge in the first round,” he said.

Banks have a much better idea of ​​what to expect this time around, Alden said. The same goes for second time borrowers.

“There aren’t as many questions about the documents that I have to give you and stuff,” Alden said.

At Optus Bank in South Carolina, CEO Dominik Mjartan said many candidates have been new customers applying for their first PPP loan or coming from another bank.

“I spent 30 minutes on the phone with a first client helping her with her request for $ 2,500,” he said.

Mjartan has so far said the average loan amount is about half of what it was during the original program. This is because first time applicants are looking for smaller loans.

“Usually most of them are fairly small companies with three to five employees,” he said, adding that this is a sign that the program is working as it is supposed to.

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