Money still available for PPP loans, but deadline looms

Plenty of money remains available for borrowers in the Paycheck Protection Program, but time is running short to apply for a loan.

The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Tuesday for the federal program, which offers forgivable loans designed to help small businesses stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Saturday, $134.5 billion remained available in the program run by the Small Business Administration.

This is the second round of funding for the PPP, which originally began accepting applications April 13 with a funding pool of $349 billion. Early demand for the program was extremely high and that money ran out in 13 days. Congress agreed to fund the program with an additional $310 billion and the application period for second-round funding began April 27.

According to the SBA, Indiana lenders had secured a total of $9.5 billion in PPP loans for their borrowers as of Saturday, representing 77,872 separate loans in both rounds of funding. The program is backed by federal dollars, but borrowers must apply through a bank, credit union or other approved lender.

The list of approved lenders includes organizations such as the Indy Chamber, which in late April launched a $25 million PPP lending fund for Marion County businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The most an applicant can borrow from the Chamber’s PPP fund is $75,000.

To date, the Chamber has closed 148 PPP loans totaling $2.78 million, with an average loan size of $24,000.

“We’ve seen interest in the program wane in the last few weeks, but we’ll continue to process applications until the deadline,” Chamber spokesman Joe Pellman told IBJ via email.

One reason the money is lasting longer this time is that the average loan size is smaller.

During the first round of funding, the average PPP loan size was $206,000—in part because some public companies secured large loans worth tens of millions. The federal government put pressure on those large borrowers to return the loans, and the average PPP loan size has now dropped to $108,000.

In Indiana, eight publicly held companies secured PPP loans in sizes ranging from $715,000 for Indianapolis-based Noble Roman’s Inc. to $31.4 million for Indianapolis-based Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP.

Calumet returned its loan May 18. The only other Indiana-based company to return its PPP loan to date has been Evansville-based Escalade Inc., which returned its $5.6 million loan on April 28.

On June 19, the SBA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury said they would release the names of all PPP borrowers with loans of $150,000 or higher, including the dollar range of the loans but not the exact amount.

Information on the 25% of borrowers with loans of less than $150,000 will be released in the aggregate based on ZIP code, industry and certain other details.

The borrower information has not yet been released.

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