Washington, D.C. (Sept. 25, 2020) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today urged Congress to immediately pass stand-alone legislation to help millions of small businesses by simplifying Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness.
With community banks and their small-business customers urging lawmakers for months to simplify PPP loan forgiveness to preserve the success of the program, ICBA told a House Small Business subcommittee that Congress should vote on the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act (H.R. 7777/S. 4117).
"Community banks are the unequivocal leaders of the U.S. economic recovery due to their outsized role as Paycheck Protection Program lenders. Unfortunately, the complexity of the loan-forgiveness process threatens to undermine this emergency small-business program," ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said today. "An immediate vote on the bipartisan, bicameral Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act will simplify loan forgiveness to ensure small businesses and community banks can focus their resources on the economic recovery in their local communities."
Community banks were the predominant lenders under the PPP, making more than 65 percent of program loans and serving nearly 60 percent of PPP recipients. However, the program's process of forgiving small-business loans is a source of significant confusion and burden for borrowers.
The Government Accountability Office recently reported that the complex forgiveness applications could take up to 15 hours for borrowers to complete and 75 hours for lenders to review.
To relieve small businesses of these burdens and preserve the intent of the program to sustain employment amid pandemic-related shutdowns, H.R. 7777/S. 4117 would provide automatic forgiveness for PPP loans of $150,000 or less if borrowers attest that they used the loans as intended.
ICBA will continue working with Congress to quickly bring this critical legislation to a vote to support small businesses and the economic recovery in local communities nationwide.
The Independent Community Bankers of America creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.
With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, over $4.4 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.
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