By U.S. Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is launching a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans $150,000 or less through participating lenders to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA.
“The SBA’s new streamlined application portal will simplify forgiveness for millions of our smallest businesses — including many sole proprietors — who used funds from our Paycheck Protection Program loans to survive the pandemic,” said Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman. “The vast majority of businesses waiting for forgiveness have loans under $150,000. These entrepreneurs are busy running their businesses and are challenged by an overly complicated forgiveness process. We need to deliver forgiveness more efficiently so they can get back to enlivening our Main Streets, sustaining our neighborhoods and fueling our nation’s economy.”
This new change will help rush relief to over 6.5 million smallest of small businesses which has been the Administrator’s priority since day one. The new forgiveness platform will begin accepting applications from borrowers on Aug. 4, 2021. Lenders are required to opt-in to this program through https://directforgiveness.sba.gov. In addition to the technology platform, the SBA is standing up a PPP customer service team to answer questions and directly assist borrowers with their forgiveness applications. Borrowers who need assistance or have questions should call 877-552-2692 Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
“This initiative will allow PPP borrowers to put their concerns of achieving full forgiveness behind them and focus on operating and growing their businesses again,” said Patrick Kelley, associate administrator for SBA’s Office of Capital Access. “We are pleased to be able to assist financial institutions across the U.S. in processing forgiveness applications for small-business owners.”
Paycheck Protection Program summary:
• Overall, the SBA and lenders have worked to originate over 11.7 million loans totaling nearly $800 billion in relief to over 8.5 million small businesses.
• SBA approved over 6.5 million loans totaling over $275 billion
• The average loan size was about $42,000 (compared to $101,000 in 2020)
• 96% of loans went to businesses with fewer than 20 employees (compared to just 87% in 2020)
• 32% of loans went to businesses in low- to moderate-income communities (compared to just 24% in 2020)
Direct Forgiveness summary:
• Over 600 banks have opted into direct forgiveness, enabling over 2.17 million borrowers to apply through the portal (This represents 30% of loans $150,000 or less that have not yet submitted for forgiveness.)
“As one of the leading PPP lenders in the nation, Customers Bank is proud to partner with SBA to deliver responsive digital loan forgiveness service to the small business borrowers,” said Sam Sidhu, president and CEO of the bank. “The streamlined and efficient SBA PPP loan forgiveness portal will help borrowers and lenders move forward with economic growth and job creation following the pandemic. We encourage other lenders to join Customers Bank and opt-in to the SBA portal.”