A second round of funding for Congress's now depleted Paycheck Protection Program – to the tune of $310 billion – could be passed in the House today. Many small business owners who applied for the loans were left without aid after the program's funds were exhausted just 13 days after launch. In a bid to help those same business owners quickly secure funding, Paychex revealed an advance application process to ensure they're at the front of the line.
Accepting loan applications in advance of funding approval
Through partnerships with online lending companies Biz2Credit, Fundera and Lendio, Paychex is giving its clients the ability to complete a Paycheck Protection Program loan application prior to the additional funding's final approval in Congress.
"We are committed to helping our customers navigate this uncharted territory, which includes helping those businesses that are currently underserved or lack an existing bank relationship," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. "We are hopeful that Congress will make additional relief funds available for those businesses that desperately need it."
Through the company's new partnerships, officials believe they can help small businesses that missed their chance to get assistance before funds ran out.
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Giving small businesses a head start
To receive Paycheck Protection Program funds, businesses must go through an SBA-approved lender. Though Paychex said they recommend that their clients go through their established bank first, the company said its trio of new partners is poised to serve as additional potential lenders.
Since funding ran out on April 16, many lenders already have applicants waiting in a queue. With that in mind, Paychex said its lender partners are working to make sure its clients can get loans from the next anticipated rush for funding by assisting clients in preparing their applications ahead of time.
"Like all impacted businesses, our customers are looking to expedite the loan process so that they can cover important expenses like payroll and other operational costs as soon as possible," said Mucci. "Some of our customers have found connecting with an SBA-approved lender to be challenging, which is why we've joined forces with Biz2Credit, Fundera and Lendio to provide them with access to a ready network of approved lenders to get the loan process underway quickly, should new funds become available."
According to Paychex, all three lending partners provide online solutions for borrowers looking to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program. To start the process, users must visit Paychex's landing page, select one of the three lending partners, fill out a questionnaire and upload any required documentation. Thanks to a specially designed report launched on April 6 at the start of the Paycheck Protection Program, Paychex users can find nearly everything they need for the process in a specialized report.
Since all three lending partners have already distributed millions of loans in the first round, Paychex said they were ready to provide similar service to its clients. Paychex noted that each lending partner has its own list of SBA-approved banks that can provide funding to small businesses.
In addition to Paychex's clients, all customers of the company's subsidiaries SurePayroll, Oasis and Advanced Partners can take advantage of the new partnerships.
"We are committed to helping our customers navigate this uncharted territory, which includes helping those businesses that are currently underserved or lack an existing bank relationship," Mucci added. "We are hopeful that Congress will make additional relief funds available for those businesses that desperately need it."
How we got here
Created under the $2 trillion stimulus package dubbed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program was established to provide $350 billion in forgivable loans through the federal Small Business Administration (SBA). As long as companies use the funds to pay employee salaries, cover rents and mortgages, and keep utility bills paid, the loans would be forgiven.
Following its approval, the SBA began accepting loan applications on April 3, but it took less than two weeks for the program's $350 billion in funding to be completely depleted, leaving many small businesses in the lurch and prompting Congress to work on securing additional funds. As it stands, the plan being considered by the House is to provide $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, $50 billion to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and $10 billion for EIDL grants.
"The fact that $349 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans were allocated in just over two weeks speaks to the critical financial needs America's businesses continue to have as they do everything they can to stay afloat during this unprecedented uncertainty due to COVID-19," said Mucci.