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SBA lenders in Iowa pass 50,000-loan mark in second PPP round


Iowa financial institutions have made more than 53,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses in the second round of funding, according to the latest data from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

spreadsheet of loan totals maintained by the SBA shows that 53,888 PPP loans totaling nearly $1.85 million have been made in Iowa as of Feb. 28. Those totals do not include the initial round of PPP loans made in 2020. Last year, more than 61,000 PPP loans were made to Iowa businesses, with loan amounts ranging from $100 to $10 million.

Nationally, nearly 2.2 million PPP loans were made in January and February, for a total of more than $156.25 billion in new loans. Nearly 73% of loans overall were for $50,000 or less, according to the summary. The overall average loan size is $71,000.

Dave Nelson, CEO of West Bank in West Des Moines, said last week that borrower demand is decidedly calmer in this second round than it was last spring, when he and many other banks went into a temporary “wartime repurposing” of office space to feverishly process as many loans as possible while scarce funds were available. By mid-April last year, the bank had reported already processing 596 applications totaling $206 million.  

West Bank was approaching about 300 new PPP loans last week; loan sizes have been much smaller, he said, and demand seems to already be tapering. Overall, the bank had processed about 1,000 PPP loans last year, and he anticipates the second round will be about one-third of that volume.  

Nelson said that regarding forgiveness of existing first-round PPP loans, West Bank is “probably not even halfway done” at this point. There has not yet been any forgiveness request that has been denied by the SBA, he said, and he has not heard from any other bankers of loans not being forgiven.

According to loan data released in December by the SBA, in the 2020 initial round a total of 61,258 PPP loans were made by Iowa financial institutions, of which 55,301, or 90%, were for amounts of less than $150,000.

The second round of PPP, authorized as part of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act (the Economic Aid Act) signed into law on Dec. 27, provides for financial institutions to provide up to $284 billion in SBA-backed PPP loans aimed at helping small businesses retain jobs and cover other expenses through March 31. It will also enable certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

On Wednesday, the SBA released a new application and loan calculation formula for PPP loans for self-employed and gig workers. For these small businesses, it will mean larger forgivable loan amounts going forward, as CNBC reported.

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