On the first day of the effectiveness of the emergency loan program in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Banco Popular processed around $ 2.6 million in loans, reported the financial institution.
In a press release, the institution said that yesterday it disbursed part of the approved loans.
“We are committed to helping our clients access these emergency funds as quickly and easily as possible,” said Eli Sepúlveda, executive vice president in charge of Commercial Credit at Popular, in written statements.
“Business is the driving force behind the development of our communities”Sepúlveda added. “We are excited to be able to help small and medium-sized merchants in Puerto Rico right now who are in dire need of financial help.”
Yesterday, one of the loan programs approved in the federal Coronavirus Action, Relief & Economic Stability (CARES) law came into effect to assist companies financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program is intended to capitalize companies with fewer than 500 employees to keep their employees on the payroll. This, even if they have lost operating income or are prevented from operating by an isolation or quarantine order that seeks to stop the advance of the coronavirus.
The employer can use the loan to pay the payroll for an approximate period of eight weeks, as well as rent, mortgage interest and basic earnings.
Within the $ 2.2 trillion package approved to deal with COVID-19, the federal government allocated about $ 349 billion to the Small Business Administration (SBA) to be used primarily through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP).
Trump to request additional funds for the program
Although there are doubts about the program’s implementation, just hours after the loans began to be processed, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a press conference at the White House that over $ 1.8 billion in applications had been processed. through the PPP.
This Saturday, in a tweet, President Donald J. Trump indicated that he will request additional resources from Congress “immediately” to the PPP in the event that the funds initially allocated are exhausted.
I will immediately ask Congress for more money to support small businesses under the #PPPloan if the allocated money runs out. So far, way ahead of schedule. @BankofAmerica & community banks are rocking! @SBAgov @USTreasury
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 4, 2020
Although it is an SBA loan, a large part of the principal owed by companies will be forgiven by the US Treasury, if at least 75% of the money is used in the payment of payroll and if the companies retain their workers, among other conditions.
The PPP will be available until June 30.
In Puerto Rico, according to the SBA board, almost a dozen institutions can issue loans under the federal CARES law: Banco Popular, FirstBank, Oriental Bank, Banco Santander, Banesco USA, Banco de Desarrollo Economico (BDE), Lend Dreams (formerly Coffec) and the Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito de Arecibo.
In the case of Popular, Sepúlveda urged businessmen to process their application by phone, through the Business Banking Center (787.756.3939) or through the popular.com/protection-of-name/ link.