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Approved PPP loans for Puerto Rico approach $500M mark

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The US Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program has approved close to $500 million in loans in Puerto Rico and more than $36 million in the US Virgin Islands, the agency announced in its March 7, 2021 report.

Moreover, the SBA has approved 12,154 PPP loans for businesses and nonprofits in Puerto Rico, a 10.9% increase from the 10,950 PPP loans from the last report, and a $45.7 million increase in approved dollars to $498.2 million.

“Puerto Rico small businesses continue to tap into the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program to assist them to keep workers on payroll and connected to their benefits during the continued COVID-19 pandemic,” said Josué E. Rivera, the SBA’s district director for Puerto Rico and the USVI.

For the USVI, the SBA approved a total of 375 PPP loans, a 22% increase from the 306 PPP loans from the last report. Approved dollars by 16.4% from $31 million.

“Although issued with private dollars, the U.S. Small Business Administration is guaranteeing these loans backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. I’m glad that our agency is making a positive difference for Puerto Ricans and the island’s economy during this unprecedented time,” added Rivera

Rivera said the released data further confirms the recently issued SBA COVID-19 Relief Program Report’s analysis showing that the current round of PPP loans is successfully reaching smaller borrowers.

The average 2021 PPP loan size dropped again to $68,000, from $71,000 last week and $73,000 and $75,000, respectively for the previous weeks.

According to the agency, 73.5% of all PPP loans issued in 2021 (approximately 1.8 million) are for $50,000 and under, 85% of all 2021 PPP loans are for $100,000 or under and almost 91% of all 2021 PPP loans are for $150,000 or under.

As for a potential extension of the program, Politico financial services reporter Zach Warmbrodt said on Twitter yesterday that the Fed announced it will continue to supply credit to banks to support their PPP lending until June 30.

This move makes it easier for banks to continue to participate in the program beyond its current Mar. 31 expiration date, should Congress approve an extension.

For the newest round of PPP funding, which began on Jan. 11, 2021, the SBA has guaranteed more than 2.4 million PPP loans for more than $156.2 billion. This represents an almost $9 billion increase in net dollars approved since the previous week.

At the national level, the industries receiving PPP approvals are essentially unchanged and led by accommodation and food service with 18% of all PPP loans, followed by construction (13%), professional, scientific and technical services (11%), health and social assistance (11%) and manufacturing (10%).

According to the SBA, more than 99% of loan value has been forgiven for those that have completed the forgiveness process across all PPP loan sizes. Forgiveness data as of March 4, 2021, shows 1.9 million PPP loans originating in 2020 and totaling $168.6 billion have been forgiven while 250,000 (totaling $87.1 billion) are currently under review.

Since the start of the program in 2020, more than 7.55 million PPP loans totaling more than $687.3 billion have been guaranteed by the SBA across the United States and its territories.

Author Details
Author Details
Author Edison Reynaldo Misla is a former publisher, editor and reporter, who currently works as a strategic business communications consultant.
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