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Delaware small businesses secure more relief in second round of PPP funding

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Delaware Public Media

Delaware small businesses are seeing better results during the second round of the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program.

As of May 1st, SBA reports more than sixty percent of applications were approved during this round.  More than $366 million dollars has gone to Delaware businesses through over 4,800 loans.

SBA Delaware District Director John Fleming said they are helping twice as many people than in the first round and prioritizing small businesses made a difference. 

“We changed the way we processed the loans.  We gave preference right up front to smaller and regional banks.  We set aside money for them,” Fleming said.  “There was even a day, a full eight-hour day, to where we just said we’re only going to take applications from smaller lenders.  And, the numbers are reflecting that.”

Fleming said adjustments to the application process helped.  He added small lenders also benefited from the changes. 

“It took a little while for our local and regional banks to get online.  Some of the credit unions and community banks that haven’t work with SBA in a while needed some time to get ramped up.  By the time they did, they were shutout,” Fleming said.

The Delaware Division of Small Business Director Damian DiStefano said he’s heard fewer complaints about the PPP in round two.  He said it and the state’s HELP loans are allowing businesses to keep their doors open.

“I think that all of these business programs have been helpful.  But, we need to make sure that we’re continuing to do more, continuing to adapt our program especially as we move into a recovery phase and just continuing to keep these businesses afloat,” DiStefano said.

Delaware Alliance of Nonprofit Advancement CEO Shelia Bravo says her organization worked this round to help nonprofits navigate the process and are seeing results.

“We were thrilled to see over sixty organizations so far have been approved through the NDC Stepping Stones Community Federal Credit Union’s Program,” Bravo said.  “And far as we know, the SBA is still continuing to receive applications and so we’ll continue to hopefully have more applications go through as long as the funding remains there.”  

PPP loans remain popular among pandemic-stricken small businesses and nonprofit organizations.  Congress approved $310 billion for the program after the initial funding ran out within two weeks. 

SBA says there is $150 billion left in the current round of funding.   

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