OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma banks have handled billions of dollars in loans to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program during the coronavirus crisis, and state bankers want the program to continue.
The Paycheck Protection Program’s funds became depleted on Thursday, April 16.
Oklahoma banks, as of April 16, funded 35,557 loans worth $4.61 billion since the Protection Program was opened on April 3, according to Oklahoma Bankers Association news release, which cited figures provided by the Department of Treasury.
The OBA wants Congress to fund a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program.
“There is currently a bill being discussed in Congress that would add additional funds to the program,” OBA Executive Vice President/Government Relations Adrian Beverage said. “With the initial amount appropriated now being gone, there will be tremendous pressure on Congress to get the additional funding approved. There are still millions of small businesses, independent contractors and sole proprietors needing help and Oklahoma banks want to be there to help them.”
The Protection Program – part of the $2 trillion economic stimulus package that the federal government passed late last month – allocated up to $350 billion in forgivable loans to assist small businesses in maintaining payrolls during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program started Friday, April 3, for businesses and Friday, April 10, for independent contractors and self-employed individuals, according to the news release.