Popular announced today that, as of May 1, it had processed $1.2 billion in loans in the two rounds of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
These loans benefit 16,397 small and medium-sized businesses that employ more than 235,000 people. Of the total, $1.06 billion were granted through Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and $185 million through Popular Bank, Popular's banking subsidiary in the United States.
The institution indicated that, since the start of the second round of the program on April 27, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico had processed 14,082 applications for $660 million in funds, of which $647 million were originated in Puerto Rico and $13 million in the Virgin Islands.
"Aware of the importance of this program for small and medium businesses on the island, we mobilized our human and technological resources to help them obtain the most funds possible. We are extremely pleased to have been able to process all completed applications that we have received to date. Also, we will continue to receive and process applications as long as the SBA keeps the program open and funds are available," said Ignacio Álvarez, Popular's Chief Executive Officer.
Popular reported that, in Puerto Rico, it has so far processed 15,277 applications for a total of $1.04 billion in funds. These businesses employ more than 227,000 people. Of these, 61% percent have been for less than $25,000 and 31% for amounts between $25,000 and $150,000.
"Small and medium-sized businesses are the heart of a community and, at Popular, we support them, particularly at this difficult time. The results demonstrate our commitment and our reach in this segment that is so vital to our economy. We are grateful to our clients and other businesses that submitted applications with us for their trust and to our colleagues who have worked tirelessly to make these results possible," Álvarez concluded.
The program is one of the cornerstones of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), landmark legislation designed to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States Congress launched the program with an initial allocation of $349 billion, and due to the high demand, the funds were exhausted in 13 days. The program was reactivated on April 27, with an additional allocation of $310 billion. In this second round, through May 1, the SBA had approved $176 billion in loans.