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Contributed by Brianna Reeder, AVP, Director of Communications and Professional Development, North Carolina Bankers Association

RALEIGH, N.C. – Last night, Congress passed the latest COVID-19 relief bill which includes numerous provisions that the banking industry has advocated for, including $284 billion in new funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and allowing for a second draw option for prior PPP borrowers. In addition, $15 billion of those funds will be set aside for first and second draws issued by community financial institutions, including community development financial institutions and minority depository institutions.

An important component of the new relief package is a simplified PPP forgiveness process, which banks have been waiting on. The newly approved process will allow PPP loans of $150,000 or less to be forgiven after the borrower completes a one-page attestation. Also included is a repeal of a CARES Act provision that required PPP borrowers to deduct the amount of their Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance from their PPP forgiveness amount.

“North Carolina banks have done remarkable work throughout this year. They have committed significant resources and manpower to support their customers and their communities and are proud of the role they have played in the economic recovery of our nation,” said NCBA President & CEO Peter Gwaltney. “Our banks are strong and are committed to helping their customers and communities through this next phase of the Paycheck Protection Program and through the remainder of this pandemic.”

Small businesses should visit www.sba.gov to learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program and gather the required information before applying for a PPP loan with their primary bank. Not every North Carolina financial institution is a fit to participate in the program. If your bank is not a participant in the Paycheck Protection Program, small businesses should inquire with other lenders.

Since the launch of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program on April 3, 2020, North Carolina bankers have continuously worked to serve the state’s communities and small businesses. As of June 30, 2020, the SBA reported that 121,917 North Carolina small businesses have received $12.4 billion in PPP funding. 1.2 million North Carolina jobs have been supported by the PPP, and 80 percent of the total small business payroll in the state has been covered by PPP loans as of the June 30 date. Eight of the top 10 national PPP lenders are headquartered in North Carolina or have a significant presence in the state.

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