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Business Community and Financial Institutions Advise Patience as the Paycheck Protection Program Launches

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Financial Institutions offer customers additional help

The Community Bankers of Michigan, Michigan Bankers Association, Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates, and the Michigan Chamber issued the following statement today on the newly launched Paycheck Protection Program:

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), passed under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, launches today, Friday, April 3. The PPP is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.  The loans will be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

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There is high interest in this program. The PPP was passed under the CARES Act one week ago today. Financial Institutions received the guidance from Treasury less than 24-hours ago and have been working to establish channels for their customers.

Michigan’s financial institutions entered this pandemic from a position of strength and are well-equipped to help their communities.

Things businesses can do right now:

“Bankers across the state of Michigan have worked long hours this week to prepare for the roll out of the SBA Paycheck Protection Program for Michigan businesses,” stated Mike Tierney, president and CEO, Community Bankers of Michigan.  “The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to help business owners retain their most important asset – their employees – through these troubled times.  Michigan banks are the economic engine of the state.  They have been there for their communities in every past crisis and they will be there for Michigan through this crisis.”

“Working with small businesses is the backbone of what our industry does,” explained T. Rann Paynter, President and CEO, Michigan Bankers Association. “Financial institutions of all sizes throughout Michigan were helping their small business customers with a range of assistance programs before the government approved this initiative. While, the PPP program is an added and critical tool, there are other options available to small businesses in need. Please communicate with your lender to learn more.”

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“Credit Unions join with banks in urging patience with the SBA PPP rollout,” stated Dave Adams, President/CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates. “Congress moved swiftly, and the SBA has done it’s best to be ready. Lenders continue to seek a refined process that expedites the flow of funds while protecting the interests of all parties. These steps may take longer than first expected but credit unions are ready to join with banks in making these emergency loans available as quickly as possible.”

“We understand that many Michigan businesses, dealing with the economic fallout of COVID-19, are desperate for a piece of the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP),” said Wendy Block, Vice President of Business Advocacy and Member Engagement for the Michigan Chamber.  “The PPP is aimed at helping small and medium sized business retain workers and pay bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We encourage businesses to be patient,” continued Block.  “If you are a business owner and you are interested in applying for a PPP loan, we’d encourage to direct your inquiries to the financial institution where you have your business.  This will ensure the quickest turn-around time on your application.”

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