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Reflections on Small Business PPP Loans and Bank Relationships

Most of our small business clients are now focused on Step 2 of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan process - FORGIVENESS. While we're waiting yet again for clarifications from Congress and the Small Business Administration (SBA) on the rules for forgiveness, this may be a good time to reflect on small business banking relationships.

While national banks have received the most PPP loan attention from the popular press, we've been pleasantly surprised with the superior quality of our clients' experiences with smaller regional or state banks. There have even been a couple of credit unions that have participated in the SBA programs and aided our clients. Our clients have found these financial institutions almost without exception to be more responsive to small business needs than some of the national banks.

Don't get us wrong. We've also worked with individual bank professionals at these larger institutions who are serving well, so we don't want to name names. But others have seemed to be more focused on protecting themselves through self-selection of their customers who can qualify for PPP loans. Of course, supporting small business efforts to protect the paychecks of small business employees is the program's primary objective.

Our thought for the future - don't forget about regional and state banks as you consider your small business banking relationships. If you do not currently work with a local bank that is not simply a branch of a national bank, then consider broadening your network. 



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