On the heels of an extension of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) being signed small businesses by President Joe Biden, credit unions continue to be committed to assistacross the country.
Credit Unions Nationwide Are Serving Small Businesses With PPP Loans
More than 840 credit unions nationwide are serving some of the smallest businesses that are trying to survive during this current round of PPP and economic recovery—facilitating nearly 121,000 loans, or approximately $4.6 billion. The average loan size for U.S. credit unions is $37,699 (compared with the national average of $59,084 for all other types of lenders combined) and indicates they are providing an opportunity to businesses that really need a vital lifeline. A noticeable 16 percent of total PPP lenders are credit unions.
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We can point to two major examples—one in Nevada and one in California—of credit unions doing their part to help small businesses survive during this pandemic time.
Greater Commercial Lending—a wholly owned subsidiary of Carson City-based Greater Nevada Credit Union—has funded more than 1,750 PPP applications through the SBA for a total of more than $106.6 million; $34.6 million of which has been allocated to businesses within its home state of Nevada.
“Greater Commercial Lending is planning to keep our application process open through the new deadline or until funding runs out,” said Greater Nevada Credit Union President and CEO Wally Murray. “These continue to be challenging times for businesses to navigate the re-opening process and recover from the economic damage caused by the pandemic. It is critical that this vital relief reaches owners fighting for both the livelihood of their businesses and the financial well-being of their employees.”
CARE Chest of Sierra Nevada, a nonprofit organization, is among those helped by Greater Commercial Lending.
PPP Funds Handed To Small Businesses
“There’s no reason not to apply," said Executive Director Anne Schiller. "Once you receive the finding, you can prove you can utilize the loan the way it was meant to be used and you send in all the proper documentation, your loan is forgiven. It’s easy and quick. Greater Nevada was wonderful to work with and very responsive.”
Santa Rosa, CA-based Redwood Credit Union (RCU) has funded some 3,600 PPP loans for a total of $193 million, saving an estimated 17,000 jobs. In the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program, 2,036 local businesses received PPP loans with the assistance of the credit union, for a total of $121 million. This is estimated to have saved more than 9,100 North Bay jobs. Because of this, S&P Global Market Intelligence listed RCU as the No. 1 credit union PPP lender in California in 2020.
In this second round, 1,560 new loan applications have been submitted by RCU to the SBA equaling nearly $72 million in new PPP funds for small businesses. This has helped save approximately 7,900 jobs. In addition, about 64 percent of these loans are considered second-draw loans (meaning the business previously received a PPP loan in the first round).
One of the smallest loans the credit union made was for $125 for a janitorial service. COVID has had a prolonged effect on the hospitality and tourism sectors, and because these are vital industries for the Napa and Sonoma wine country, RCU’s support of these specific businesses through PPP was critical for the broader regional economy as well.
“The PPP program is really just an extension of how we serve businesses,” said Redwood Credit Union Chief Financial & Risk Officer Ron Felder. “We’re not a service provider; we’re a financial partner. Our mission is to passionately serve the best interests of our members, team members, and communities, so it only makes sense that we’d be all-in to help our members with PPP support when they needed it most.”