It’s April 3, the day applications are open for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), an emergency bridge loan for companies with fewer than 500 employees that will fund payroll for two and a half months of this recession — and that won’t need to be repaid as long as those businesses don’t lay off their employees.
(For a detailed info guide of the PPP, read the Technical.ly guest post “Applying for the Paycheck Protection Program? Here’s what small businesses need to know” by Philadelphia-based Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP partner Jon Hughes and associate Ernest Holtzheimer.)
The program promises to be a lifesaver for many businesses, but the application process isn’t going off without a hitch. Business owners have to apply via a bank that they have an established relationship with, and many of those banks, so far, are overwhelmed, with some simply not taking applications at this time because they’re not ready.
Bank of America, which has a corporate presence and history in Delaware, was the first big bank to start accepting PPP applications, and received 10,000 of them within the first hour.
To the disappointment of many, being a BofA customer wasn’t enough to be eligible to apply.
Chase for Business, part of JPMorgan Chase, which has a major presence in Delaware, opened its PPP portal by midday, but not to take applications (yet). Instead, it’s taking preliminary applications and businesses are to wait for the bank to contact them.
Small Businesses still cannot apply for PPP through @ChaseforBiz. https://t.co/8Evo6ntqf6 is back up, they are only taking information, not applications. Apparently, customers cannot apply until Chase contacts the small business! What a disaster. @GregIacurci @SBAgov pic.twitter.com/d8NOrSSdWx
— Gigili Tartufati 🍷⚾️ 🇺🇸 (@SillyMetsFan) April 3, 2020
Another bank with a major Delaware presence is Capital One. As of early afternoon, it is not yet taking applications.
If you have a lending relationship with a smaller community bank, it may be the way to go, as they have been actively processing applications all day:
Community banks have already processed over 700 coronavirus relief loans for small businesses totaling $2.5 million, Mnuchin says.
Local banks are beating the big banks, some of whose online applications haven’t gone live yet.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) April 3, 2020
Twitter user @PayrollProtect (not affiliated with the SBA) is keeping track of which banks are accepting PPP applications:
Have you applied for PPP or are you facing challenges applying? We want to hear the experiences of Delaware small businesses — drop us a line at email@example.com.-30-