Funds are still available to small businesses through the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans designed to encourage small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
Small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed persons apply for the PPP loans through their banks. Lenders in Northern Arizona, like Neil Wesson at Foothills Bank, are staying busy processing PPP applications.
“We have been working day and night to process the PPP loan applications. But I have to tell you, this is the most rewarding time of my career,” said Wesson, who has been in banking for more than 20 years. “When you call a client and let them know they have been approved for the small business loan, and that person is overcome with tears and joy, then there’s nothing as gratifying as helping our small business owners within the community we serve.”
The senior commercial loan officer says Foothills has been able to help more than 150 small businesses in Northern Arizona, many of which had relationships with other financial institutions. “We take pride in helping business owners, independent contractors and sole proprietors by providing clear communication and making ourselves available,” said Wesson. “It takes a team to accomplish what we have done over the past six weeks, and I am so proud to be a part of this great organization.”
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 72,523 PPP loans in Arizona. Those loans represent $8,563,928,791 in approved dollars.
“As of today, we are still accepting PPP loan applications, as there is still money available from the second phase of funds,” Wesson said. “I feel it’s very important to have conversations with small business owners first, to help direct and provide guidance within the application process. We have an application package that can be sent out to them via email. I will work closely with the small business owners and keep them posted with any and all updates as they become available.”
Small Business Development Center Director Gina Couillard recommends that businesses apply as soon as possible. She warns that the guidance for small businesses regarding the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is technical and confusing.
The SBA will forgive PPP loans if businesses keep all employees on the payroll for eight weeks and use the money for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. “The Coconino Small Business Development Center (SBDC) recommends you consult with your CPA or SBDC to navigate the completion of the PPP forgiveness application. The PPP program was designed to assist businesses during this uncertain time, and businesses have liberal time to apply for forgiveness,” she said. “We strongly urge businesses to keep clean, accurate financial records and take time to prepare for loan forgiveness.” FBN
By Stacey Wittig, FBN
Foothills Bank, Division of Glacier Bank
1750 S Woodlands Village Boulevard, Flagstaff