PORTLAND — This week the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) begins accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness applications from lenders following the close of the PPP application Aug. 8.

According to an SBA PPP report with data as of Aug. 8, the SBA approved 66,344 loans valued at nearly $7.1 billion in Oregon. To put that in perspective, $475 million in traditional SBA loans – which include 7(a), 504 and Microloans – were approved in the SBA Portland District during fiscal year 2019.

According to an earlier PPP report released by the SBA, approximately 77% of small business payroll in Oregon was covered by PPP loans.

Nationally, the SBA approved more than 5.2 million PPP loans worth $525 billion in emergency relief funding in just four months. The average borrower loan approved is approximately $100,000.

“The PPP has been an overwhelming success for small businesses in the Pacific Northwest. Nearly 5,500 lenders worked in tandem with the SBA to deliver the PPP swiftly to local businesses,” SBA Pacific Northwest Regional Administrator Jeremy Field said. “Our robust network of SBA Resource Partners worked one-on-one with businesses to help them plan and apply for the PPP; and, local government, chambers and community organizations stepped up to educate businesses about the program.

“With the partnership of dedicated individuals and organizations, we were able to quickly get businesses the funding they needed so they could pivot, innovate, take care of their employees, and confidently move their business forward,” Field said.

If PPP funds are used for payroll and other permissible expenses as outlined in the program guidelines, the loans can be fully forgiven.

To apply for PPP loan forgiveness, borrowers must work with their lenders to complete a forgiveness application and gather supporting documentation. The lender then submits the forgiveness package to the SBA for review and approval.

More information about the PPP forgiveness process – including applications and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – is available at www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection. Any updates to the program will be posted here as well.

Additional relief options

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications continue to be processed and accepted as another financing option for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

These low-interest, long-term loans can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to healthcare benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments.

In just three months, the SBA approved and disbursed nearly twice as many EIDL loans for COVID-19 than it has for all other disasters in the combined 67-year history of the agency.

In Oregon, more than 33,000 EIDL loans valued at approximately $1.87 billion were approved by the SBA as of July 27.

More information and an online application for EIDL is at www.sba.gov/disaster.

Through SBA Debt Relief, the SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses through its traditional 7(a), 504 and Microloan programs.

Through this program, the SBA pays six months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to Sept. 27, 2020.

The agency has already been paying these fees for current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status.

Additionally, through September, the SBA is offering a temporary loan product called the Community Advantage Recovery Loan (CARL).

This loan qualifies for the same Debt Relief as other SBA loan programs and is provided by lenders who provide additional technical assistance. Examples of technical assistance can include retooling the applicant business model for a COVID-19 environment, shifting to an online presence, building cash reserves, or expense reduction strategies.

For more information about CARL, contact a lender relations specialist in the SBA Portland District, call (503) 326-2682.

“Access to capital has always been a top need for small businesses and that is even more so true as businesses navigate a new economic reality,” Field said. “As part of our agency’s relief efforts, we want more businesses to know of this added benefit to traditional SBA loan programs. Our network of lenders stepped up for the PPP and we will continue to work with them to provide small businesses financing through the SBA 7(a), 504 and Microloan programs.”

To guide small businesses through the various stages of accessing capital or simply to help small business pivot and redirect their business model, the SBA Resource Partner Network provides no-cost business advising and training to small businesses.

The SBA Resource Partner Network includes SCORE mentors, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers.

As part of ongoing recovery efforts, SBA Resource Partners provide business resiliency planning to help businesses decipher their course of action for the coming weeks and months ahead. They also host webinars and virtual advising sessions to help small businesses navigate unchartered waters.

To find a SBA Resource Partner near you, visit www.sba.gov/local-assistance.

For more information about all COVID-19 resources and financing options for small businesses visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus.

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