Just three weeks after its initial launch, the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program has been depleted of funds.

The PPP was designed for businesses to be able to still pay their employees while covering other costs while being shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

The $349 billion in funds ran out on Thursday, April 16. Banks that had been helping businesses apply for the program were notified that the SBA would no longer be accepting applications and those waiting in the queue would not be approved, said Steve Heine, president of Woodsboro Bank.

“We had about a dozen applications literally in the SBA queue when the money ran out,” Heine said. “And we still have a couple dozen people who have indicated interest in the program.”

The Maryland Bankers Association surveyed 21 community banks in Maryland and released data stating 4,883 loan applications were pending or in process when the PPP funding was exhausted on April 16. Those applications represent $664,854,426 in relief, and puts 17,389 Maryland jobs at stake.

“Without further Congressional funding, thousands of Maryland businesses and their employees are at risk of not being able to benefit from the much needed payroll relief,” said Kathleen Murphy, president and chief executive officer of the MBA. “The banking industry stands by small businesses across Maryland; banks are anxiously waiting to upload thousands of pending applications once new funding is signed into law.”

Heine has been contacting congressmen, senators and trade groups such as the Independent Community Bankers of America to help get the fourth stimulus package, which includes refunding the PPP, passed.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CNN over the weekend he thought a deal on a new $2 trillion stimulus package, which includes an extra $300 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, could be passed by Congress early this week.

Woodsboro Bank was not an SBA preferred lender at the beginning of the month. But once they realized that they would need to become one in order to help local businesses apply for the PPP, they went through the steps necessary, which Heine said required a lot of time and work.

The SBA was providing new information daily, and the bank had to build a system with the help of the SBA office in Baltimore. All within three weeks, Woodsboro Bank created the system, got it up and running, helped businesses apply, and then had to begin turning businesses away, or tell them that their application was left pending.

Woodsboro Bank, along with other community banks like Frederick County Bank, worked with the applicants to gather their information and then filed their applications for them. Meanwhile, Heine said, larger banks were using online portals for filing, which caused some confusion among businesses who may have never actually gotten their application through.

“I talked to one business owner yesterday who had submitted their application to a national bank on the fourth of April and as of yesterday [April 16] they have not received a response from the bank on whether they have been approved,” Heine said.

Woodsboro Bank helped businesses that ranged in size, from sole proprietors to businesses with 350 employees. Heine said that the bank is also deferring loan payments for three months for all of its clients.

“I think every bank large and small is truly focused on helping their clients, and in the case of Woodsboro Bank ... we’re not just trying to help our clients, we’re working hard to protect our communities,” Heine said. “Because by helping our clients we’re making sure that the people who work there still have jobs.”

Follow Erika Riley on Twitter: @ej_riley.

(13) comments

bosco

Who is holding up the bill? Just change the date on the first one and pass it - unless somebody is playing political games and/or trying to pack the bill with pork.

The Grape of Wrath

Software could make this simpler. Look at last tax return, calculate weekly income, pay weekly income direct. Get rid of the bank middleman. Get rid of the business middleman. Get the money to the workers. You can tell this is a Republican program, uh, sham, plain and simple designed to enrich businesses, not workers. Remember that.

bosco

Move to Phase One and open things back up. The vulnerable people will still need to be on lockdown - the senior citizens, the obese, those with diabetes, those with COPD, and all of the others on the CDC list.

Let everyone else get back to business.

The Grape of Wrath

A great plan to sicken a lot of people if there ever was won. And kill some. But, no problem for businesses that don't offer sick leave, right? You take the risk, they take the profit. When you drop out they replace you. Great plan.

francesca_easa

It would be nice to see banks and other financial institutions that make boku bucks give grants to a few worthy, small businesses. The choices now are either folks will get paid by their employers who are receiving federal government assistance or they will be paid unemployment funds which comes from the state government.

The Grape of Wrath

Rule No. 1: Banks don't give money away unless they can deduct it as an expense. Rule NO. 2: Banks always follow Rule No 1.

LeBlancp01

SBA and State Covid19 financial aid does not help Small Business with very low or no profits. Eligible from all programs are based on amount of Taxable profit and not the value to everyone. I have a small business that pays Sales, Property and Taxes and Employee costs that take up significant portions of what would be my profit and make my business not eligible for aid to carry me over. My business can not be a Official nonprofit as it does not meet the requirements for same. Hopefully unemployment may help. This means that business that need to aid most (closest to failure) are the last to get same and will be push out of business. Loans/Grant should be given based on value to community not profits. I am current not paying any employees or sales tax as I current have no cash flow.

steelersfan2005

then you didn't read the PPP application correctly then

elymus43

We have too many restaurants in Frederick city and county already...........

The Grape of Wrath

Tell me again why this money has to flow through intermediary banks and businesses?

drewboy44

I own a small business in Frederick. Currently we have not laid anybody off and I am paying employees with personal funds. Without PPP I will lay them off. Get it?

The Grape of Wrath

So have the money go straight to your employees, without you or the banks taking a bite. They you won't have to raid your overseas hidden account that you haven't paid taxes on.

steelersfan2005

so when the time comes, the banks take the hit because the government doesn't just give money away for free.

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