A second wave of funding became available this week for small businesses through the federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP), and several Brown County lenders continue to participate in the program to help get needed funds into the hands of small businesses.
The program was originally created through the CARES Act that was passed by Congress a few weeks ago. The first wave of funding injected $350 billion to start the program, which was completely allocated after less than two weeks. A follow up bill approved last week added another $310 billion to the program, which became available on Monday.
The program, administered through the Small Business Administration (SBA), allows private commercial lenders to process applications and fund loans to allow quick access to money so the businesses can pay payroll, utilities, rent and mortgage payments. At the end of an eighth-week timeline, businesses can request the loans be forgiven if they used the loans for these purposes. The banks are protected by a 100 percent guarantee from SBA.
Through both rounds of funding, lenders in Brown County which, include Citizens National Bank, MC Bank and TexasBank, have spent long hours processing the applications and making sure area businesses have access to the funding they need.
To date, these three local lenders combined have funded over $53 million in loans to over 700 businesses.
As of today, funding through the program is still available, but could deplete soon as applications continue to be submitted.
“We are still accepting applications so put the word out,” said Citizens National Bank President John Guest. “We need to get all the help that we can for our community.”
Brownwood Municipal Development District Executive Director Ray Tipton said that his office has consulted with dozens of local businesses to connect them to financial resources to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The PPP program has been a huge benefit to our business community. I have seen it literally save a tremendous amount of local businesses,” said Tipton. “To be able to have tens of millions of dollars infused into our local economy in just a few short weeks was the magnitude of help needed, given the current situation.”
Tipton said that he continues to refer small businesses to these local lenders to help tap into the PPP program and urges local businesses owners to not hesitate in applying for the program while this current round of funding is available.
“In most cases, businesses are receiving their PPP funds within a week or less through the program,” Tipton said.
Any business negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and interested in financial assistance through the Payroll Protection Program can contact one of these local lenders and learn about the application process.