A trade group for community banks plans to ask the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration for better access to the government’s new $349 billion program to keep small businesses afloat in the coronavirus outbreak, as concerns persist that many of its members are shut out.
Community banks have experienced delays in accessing the SBA’s website for the program, created by the coronavirus stimulus President
The letter requests a user manual for the PPP platform, as well as more reliable technology to avoid future setbacks. About a third of community banks have been unable to access the system since it opened on Friday, the group says.
The group will also urge the SBA and the Treasury to allocate at least 25% of existing and future business lending funds to small banks, since they hold about 27% of industry assets. Community banks employ 750,000 people across more than 50,000 locations nationwide, according to the letter.
“Community banks make roughly half of all small business loans and serve markets not served by the large banks,” the ICBA said in the letter. “To ensure program access to all communities and regions of the nation, we must not allow program funds to be used nearly exclusively by the largest banks.”
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