Since the Mountain Association became a Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lender in March of this year, we’ve helped dozens of small business owners in Eastern Kentucky access the fully-forgivable loans. As of May 4, Mountain Association had secured 34 PPP loan approvals for a total of approximately $250,000.
That number has now jumped significantly. On the afternoon of May 4, SBA announced that the funding available for traditional banks and other lenders to make PPP loans had been depleted. However, there was still $8 billion available to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and other non-profit lenders. Mountain Association is a CDFI lender, so when the funding announcement was made, we became Kentucky’s last PPP lender overnight.
By noon on May 5, we had 70 new loan referrals from banks across Eastern Kentucky to process. As of May 17, we have submitted 274 PPP applications for a total of $ 4,409,987.95. We expect to process a total of 325-350 PPP loans for a total of more than $6 million by May 31. The vast majority of the new loans came as referrals from Eastern Kentucky banks that were no longer able to offer PPP loans to their customers after funding ran out.
The PPP program had a rough launch back in April 2020. Many business owners found the requirements confusing or assumed they would not qualify, and the first round of funding quickly ran out. Since then, there have been several key changes to the program in response to what small business owners and nonprofit leaders have said they need. More than 100,000 Kentucky businesses or organizations have now received PPP loans, with more applying daily.
The Mountain Association offers loans and support to businesses and organizations throughout Eastern Kentucky, including those that may not qualify for traditional financing. As lending experts, we jumped into help Eastern Kentucky businesses determine their eligibility for PPP, navigate the application process, and receive much-needed financial assistance from this program. The dollars extended to these businesses have been the difference between staying in operation and closing their doors.
The PPP Program can help maintain momentum toward a bright future many have been building in Eastern Kentucky for decades. We strongly encourage all business and organizational leaders to investigate eligibility. We know these loans can help many more businesses and organizations make it through this challenging time, and we want to make sure every leader has the information they need to take advantage of these fully forgivable loans. We invite any business or organization in the 54 Appalachian Kentucky counties to contact us with your questions.
Small businesses and non-profits are powerful engines for building a more diverse and sustainable economy in Eastern Kentucky. They contribute to a quality of life that many people want in their communities. If you own a business or lead a non-profit in Eastern Kentucky, then you owe it to your staff, your community and yourself to investigate what assistance might be available to you through the PPP.