Four banks with a local presence (BancFirst, First National Bank, First United Bank and Simmons Bank) have been working with local businesses to process forgivable loans as part of the federal governement’s recent Paycheck Protection Program, which was passed into law as a response to the coronavirus.
The PPP authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis, according to program details on the Treasury Department’s webiste. Although the program ran out of funding on April 16, the U.S. Senate passed a measure April 21 to add another $484 billion to the program. The bill is expected to pass the house later on Thursday, April 23 before heading to President Trump’s desk.
Vicki Byrd, president of BancFirst’s Madill branch said BancFirst has approved more than 5,000 loans and over $820 million in business funding since inception of the PPP Program on April 3.
“Locally, my [Madill, Kingston and Tishomingo] have approved around 95 applications and approved over $1 million in loans,” she said.
Byrd added that her staff has worked extra hours during the week to make sure all of the applications were processed.
“I have an extremely dedicated team that understands the importance of small businesses to our economy,” she said. “We are preparing to increase our staffing schedules to meet the next congressional funding of PPP.”
Brandon Johnson, First United Bank’s regional market president for Southeastern Oklahoma said COVID19 has created trying times for us all.
“Our teams have diligently dedicated themselves these past few weeks to ensure that all requests for the Paycheck Protection Program get submitted and approved,” he said.
“As of April 13, we have received SBA approval on 1,200+ PPP small business applications resulting in over $130 million dollars for our Texoma communities in North Texas Region and SE Oklahoma Region. More important now than ever before, First United is here to walk alongside our communities during these times by providing resources and guidance around the things that matter most.”
Sam Huffman, president of 1NB’s Madill branch said Loan volumes have drastically increased with the PPP program.
“Unfortunately the $349 billion for the program has run out,” he said. “Hopefully, Congress will allow more money to go to this program. We have a number of application ready to submit but SBA has stopped taking applications. Our staff have been working extra hours including Saturday trying to take care of our customers. We are hopeful that in the coming day the virus will leave us just like it came or a cure will be found soon so our country will get back to normal.”
Raye Lyn Cole, community bank president for Simmons Bank’s Madill and Tishoming locations said $2,846,400 has been approved through SBA before funding was depleted.
Cole said her bank has many applications still pending.
“I have took over 50 applications between Tishomingo and Madill branches and still have more coming in each day,” she said. The commercial side has worked many long hours including some Saturdays trying to get all these applications input in the system. We are hoping that more funding is approved so the balance of the applications we have took can be funded.