Peoples Bank responds to local COVID-19 economic challenges; distributes $219 million in PPP loans to small businesses in Washington state

Responding to the urgent demand for emergency funding to support small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Peoples Bank has helped over 1,600 businesses obtain $219 million in Small Business Administration (SBA)-authorized Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. A majority of these loans have been funded, with the remaining loans to be disbursed in the coming days.

As a preferred SBA lender, Peoples Bank began accepting applications when the program became operational on April 3, 2020 and continued through the second round of funding when the program reopened on April 27, 2020. The Bank processed applications from businesses across Washington State.

“As a community bank, we believe our mission is to do all we can to support our customers and our neighbors through this extremely difficult time,” said Christopher Neros, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer. “Our team has worked extended hours to process the high volume of demand for Paycheck Protection Program loans and provide financial guidance and other lending options to our business partners. We will continue to provide assistance to the communities we serve.”

Since the inception of the Paycheck Protection Program, Washington banks have loaned roughly $12.3 billion to small businesses in the state, according to the Washington Bankers Association. Overall, community banks in the U.S. have had a significant role in the disbursement of SBA PPP loans. Roughly one million loans totaling more than $60 billion, representing 32 percent of the total funds available to small businesses, have been disbursed by community banks and other financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The SBA may provide forgiveness if the proceeds are used for allowable expenses in the eight weeks following receipt of the initial loan disbursement.