PPP loans help local businesses | Local News

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Local banks continue to help struggling small businesses with Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan applications and a Small Business Administration (SBA) official will attend a webinar next Wednesday with small business owners to help them in the process.

“In anticipation of this new funding cycle, we have worked to make the application process simpler and more streamlined for our clients. We have been in regular contact with our clients by phone and email, keeping them informed of any new information available from the Small Business Administration, ”said James McKenna, assistant vice president of communications for Tompkins Financial Corporation. “We recently set up an online application portal for PPP loans. We encourage our clients to apply through the portal to make the process as easy as possible for them, as we know they have a lot to do. “

McKenna said that during the first and second rounds of PPP funding, Tompkins has worked tirelessly to make sure clients get the help they need.

“It’s really ‘everyone on the bridge’ with people stepping out of their usual roles to help process applications and provide the funding our clients need,” he said. grateful for our role in helping to keep our small businesses as strong as possible during the pandemic. Many customers feel uncomfortable with the economic conditions, and we want to assure them that they can count on us to help them all. throughout the PPP process. We have countless conversations daily with our business customers and we hope that will continue. “

FIVE STAR BANK said last week that it was accepting PPP loan applications to meet the needs of small businesses and communities in western and central New York City.

“The health of small businesses is critical to the economic health of our communities,” said Martin K. Birmingham, President and CEO of Five Star Bank, in a press release. “Our associates are excited to be able to help small businesses take advantage of critical financing available to support their operations and preserve jobs. After the first round of applications and funding, we have further streamlined our processes so that we can provide the most efficient and effective support to companies interested in applying. “

The PPP loan program has been extended until March 31. PPP loans are available for small businesses, independent contractors, freelancers and sole proprietors, Five Star said.

In 2020, Five Star was able to help more than 1,700 small businesses obtain $ 270 million in PPP loans, helping to preserve approximately 18,000 jobs. Since the current Five Star process opened on January 19, the bank has already received hundreds of applications.

“I think in general the PPP program is going very well for this cycle, compared to last spring, let’s put it that way,” Birmingham told the Daily News on Wednesday. “The program has been expanded to ensure it is as inclusive as possible. The average size of loan applications is almost $ 125,000. We encourage any eligible small business to apply. It’s about getting help where it’s needed as quickly as possible.

Birmingham said that at this point the focus is on PPP and this is where Five Star is most active.

“Over the past four to six weeks, we have provided help in many forms. The other thing we do is partner with community organizations to run Zoom seminars, ”he said. The most economically fragile companies have been invited to participate in the seminars, some of which have already taken place. Birmingham said there would be more.

“We work in partnership with Empire Justice Center as well as with Genesee Regional Cooperative Credit Union. Through this collaboration, we are trying to reach as many small businesses as possible, ”he said. “This program is open, it’s available, and we’re happy to help borrowers go through the process.

JULIA BERCHOU, Vice President and Director of Public Relations at M&T Bank, said the M&T loan portal is now open.

“To apply, all you need is an M&T business checking account. If you don’t have an M&T corporate checking account, go to the nearest M&T bank branch to open one, then you can apply for a PPP loan, ”she said in an e-mail. mail to the Daily News. “Our teams across the company quickly came together to assist clients in this latest round of PPP financing. So far, in this latest P3 cycle, we have received over 13,000 completed applications requesting approximately $ 1.9 billion in P3 funding for companies employing approximately 309,000 workers.

Berchou said that, as with previous PPP cycles, there had been a large volume of applications in the first week and loan applications had slowed down considerably.

“About half of the applications have been approved by the SBA and we have already started to distribute the funds. The average loan size is $ 141,457 and 77% of loans were less than $ 150,000, of which 61% went to businesses with 10 or fewer employees, ”she said. “About 15% of requests come from first-time borrowers. We will continue to do whatever it takes to get so many small businesses the funds they need to keep their doors open.

Some important details related to the program have changed since the first cycle, so small business owners should check the M&T website and speak to their relationship managers to prepare for this new cycle, she said.

“We also continue to process loan cancellation requests related to previous PPP funding rounds. Information on the loan forgiveness process is also available on our website and through our small business bankers. “

DURING THE SBA WEBINAR from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Virginia Smith, Rochester Branch Manager, will provide updates on the PPP, Economic Disaster Lending (EIDL), and SBA Lending Program. Registration for the free webinar is required to receive a link to the meeting. Visit https://calendar.libraryweb.org/event/6932044 or call the Business Insight Center at (585) 428-8106.

Updated information will include: First PPP Drawdown, PPP Increases, Second PPP Drawdown, and SBA Debt Relief.

“Anyone with a current paycheck protection loan or interested in a second draw will hear information about additional details of the Paycheck Protection Program provided by the Economic Aid Act,” Smith said of about of next Wednesday’s event. “Highlights will include additional PPP eligible business entity types, additional eligible reimbursable expenses, and details of other programs referenced in the Economic Aid Act.

GENESEA COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE President Tom Turnbull said the chamber believes details of the SBA webinar are worth sharing with chamber members.

“We just like to pass these things on because someone might need it and it’s free,” he said.

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