METRO ATLANTA, Ga. — The Small Business Administration reported last week that Georgia lenders have made more than 7,000 loans valued at nearly $530 million through the most recent round of federal Economic Aid Act.

The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to help small businesses keep paying workers as they navigate the pandemic economy. This latest round of loans is open to all small businesses, including those who received PPP loans in 2020.

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Nationally, more than 400,000 loans valued at more than $35 billion have been approved this round. Overall, the average loan size is $87,000. Accumulatively, all PPP loans approved in 2020 combined with this round total more than 5.5 million PPP loans totaling $557.8 billion.

“This current round of PPP was designed to ensure increased access to funds for minority, underserved, veteran, and women-owned small businesses,” said Terri Denison, SBA Georgia District Director. “To address potential access to capital barriers, PPP access was initially granted exclusively to community financial institutions that typically serve these concerns.”

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Loyal Trust Bank in Johns Creek reported that after less than two weeks of the PPP Second Draw program, has in process 67 percent of the total dollars it did in earlier rounds. The program ends on March 31, 2021 or when the SBA runs out of allocated funds as it did in round one.

Loyal Trust Bank is a local community bank that processed and closed 10 times as many PPP loans as banks 10 times its size and 10 times its age in previous PPP lending, according to CEO Charlie Brown.

This time to make it much easier on applicants, and to encourage more new customers, the bank has deployed a Fin-Tech solution to help its customers with the forgiveness process. As a result, application data is flowing in fast.

“We want to help as many businesses as we can, and while we hope you will bank with us in other ways, we are not requiring it to handle your application,” Brown said.

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