Washington, D.C. (April 15, 2020)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today called on policymakers to immediately approve additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program with the initial round of program funds expected to be exhausted soon.
With the small-business lending program's $349 billion in funding projected to be fully committed due to significant small-business demand, ICBA is urging Congress to advance at least $250 billion in additional funds immediately for the Paycheck Protection Program.
"As they have implemented the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, community banks have once again proven themselves well-positioned to channel credit expeditiously to help small businesses and their employees," ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. "With Congress and the Trump administration crafting the next legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic with an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program, ICBA is calling for program enhancements to facilitate access for community banks and their small business customers and allow the program to reach its full potential."
In addition to ICBA's request for an immediate $250 billion in new PPP funds, ICBA supports a 25 percent earmark for community banks with $50 billion or less in assets. Other suggested reforms include:
- More workable loan terms to ensure community banks are not expected to extend credit at rates that are below funding costs.
- More flexibility in the timing of loan disbursements to ensure the smooth flow of funds.
- Expanded PPP loan uses to help small business meet significant non-payroll expenses.
- A robust lender safe harbor to facilitate and speed loan processing.
- Temporarily suspending "beneficial ownership" rules for applicants that are not current customers. Banks will continue to safeguard PPP funds against potential fraud.
With Congress and the Trump administration working to quickly approve additional funds for the PPP, ICBA supports these efforts and will continue working with policymakers to ensure this successful program can reach as many small businesses and employees as possible.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 750,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, nearly $4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.