As Congress considers appropriating additional funds, the Great Lakes regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration says Indiana stands out in the number of applicants and loans provided through the Paycheck Protection Program. Rob Scott says the state had 35,990 approved applicants for a total of nearly $7.5 billion.
In a conference call with reporters, Scott said the PPP initiative has been successful.
“How we measured it as a success is that the SBA approved more loans in 14 days than we did in 14 years. If that doesn’t tell you the magnitude of the amount of money that we were able to push through a government entity that’s basically 3,000 employees…it was an all-hands-on-deck approach. Everyone at the SBA certainly was burning the midnight oil and making sure that the small business community throughout the country are served with the PPP program.”
When asked about rumors of some lenders prioritizing certain applicants over others, Scott said the SBA does not have any regulation or oversight on how lenders process their loans.
“What is in the rules is timelines as far as how soon they need to close the loan, how soon they need to disperse the funds and that process. As far as regulating these lending institutions that did that, that would definitely have to be something Congress would certainly step in and do. We as the SBA do not have any authority to basically tell a bank, ‘Hey, you need to do first come, first serve.’ It was kind of independently up to them.”
Scott adds, before the COVID-19 crisis began in the United States, the SBA had about 1,800 active lenders. It now has about 5,000 PPP lenders.
Scott says the PPP initiative has been successful.