In April 2020, the federal government introduced the Paycheque Protection Program, a new $ 349 billion program to keep workers employed, keep businesses open, and help the economy recover as quickly as possible. . Within hours of the announcement, North Dakota lenders were filling my inbox with requests for additional information, eager to do their part in serving our state’s small business community.
Their commitment has never ceased. Over the past 15 months, our state’s banks and credit unions have stepped up to work long hours connecting small businesses with much needed capital.
Our staff have countless examples of lenders contacting our office to discuss program guidelines in the hopes of maximizing benefits for one of their clients. At 1% interest, these lenders don’t make much profit, especially for the work they put into some of these transactions. They go out of their way to help their clients be more successful.
Our combined efforts have been incredibly successful. In North Dakota alone, lenders have approved more than 50,000 loans, providing assistance of about $ 2.8 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program.
Governor Burgum has declared May as the month of thanks to the bank or credit unions, and I could not be more sincere in my appreciation for the individuals and institutions who partner with the Small Business Administration for provide resources to small businesses. Without the lending community and their tireless partnership, we would not have been able to support our business community with the tenacity and effectiveness that has been a game-changer for business owners and entrepreneurs in our state.
Al Haut is the director of the North Dakota district office of the US Small Business Administration.