press release

Throwback Thursday: CBA Recognizes Start of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Two Years Later


This week marks two years since the opening of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), an entirely new federal program introduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to support small businesses amidst an unprecedented public health and economic crisis. Working in tandem with the Small Business Administration (SBA) America’s leading banks helped ensure the program’s success.

In a new statement released today, Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) President & CEO Richard Hunt commented on the significance of this anniversary and the indelible impact bankers had on America’s small businesses:

“Two years ago, no one knew the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic would affect our families, our small businesses, and our economy, but we did know bankers were uniquely positioned to help. Thanks to the unwavering dedication of hardworking bankers, the Paycheck Protection Program saved more than 90 million jobs and helped sustain Main Streets across America. Despite many challenges along the way, this herculean effort represented the very best of our nation and will be remembered as one of the finest chapters written in the book of American banking.”

Supporting Small Businesses Across America

America’s leading banks answered the call to serve at a time when their fellow citizens needed them most. Some banks dedicated more than one third of their entire workforce to PPP with nearly every banker working around the clock to process applications and deliver much-needed assistance – all while overcoming crippling technical issues and working from home while the country was shut down.

  • Ultimately, PPP helped protect more than 90 million jobs
  • In 2020, 13 of the top 15 PPP lenders were CBA members
  • Through PPP, banks helped process 30 years’ worth of 7(a) SBA loan volume within the first two weeks
  • America’s Leading banks provided more than half of all PPP funds ($408.7 billion) and extended 4.1 million loans
  • More than 90% of PPP loan value has been forgiven for businesses that completed the forgiveness process

Bankers also served as a resource for small businesses, listening to their concerns and providing constant guidance that, at times, was missing from federal agencies, helping them navigate 132 different rule changes, procedural notices, form revisions, and FAQ’s from the SBA.

CBA highlighted this effort in a video series, the Small Business Spotlight, recognizing the historic partnership between America’s leading banks and the small businesses they worked to support during an economic crisis. To watch small and franchise business owners share their unique PPP success stories, click HERE.

Streamlining The Forgiveness Process

CBA is proud to have worked with Senators Kevin Cramer and Bob Menendez, Representatives Fred Upton and Chrissy Houlahan and a CBA-led coalition of more than 150 associations to successfully streamline the forgiveness process for loans less than $150,000, yielding an additional $7 billion in relief. CBA is also thankful for the dedication of the SBA, who worked in tandem with banks to ensure the program successfully delivered on its intent.

Commending CBA for its efforts to streamline the PPP forgiveness process, Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Ben Cardin (D-MD) said at CBA’s Washington Forum last year:

I want to thank CBA for your work on [streamlining forgiveness]. You showed us the practical problems, particularly of the smaller small businesses and dealing with the bureaucracy of getting the forgivable loan forgiven. […] We intended for those loans to be fully forgivable, under very easy terms for satisfying the use of the funds. But then we found that the SBA, in developing the form for the forgiveness, made it so complicated and so difficult that businesses were lined up for a long period of time and not getting the forgiveness. So, we did take action, thanks to your suggestion for a one-page form, particularly for those loans that were smaller in dollar amount so that we could get those forgivenesses done quickly, get them off the books, so that small businesses could get back to doing their business.”

Recognizing CBA’s Small Business Committee

With a focus on education, legislation and benchmarking for small business banking, CBA’s Small Business Committee worked day and night to assist their customers from the very beginning of the PPP and continuing throughout the past two years. Through daily calls, the Committee provided a critical, on-the-ground perspective on needed adjustments.

In recognition of their work to provide relief to America’s small businesses, the Committee, led by Chairs Richard Foster from Frost Bank and Kris Puskar from Eastern Bank, was awarded the inaugural Steve Zeisel Committee of Excellence Award at CBA LIVE 2022. To learn more about CBA’s Small Business Committee, click HERE.

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