Popular Inc. announced that as of May 1st, it had processed more than $1.2 billion in loans under the second round of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
The loans have benefited 16,397 small- and medium-sized businesses that employ more than 235,000 people, the bank said. Of the total, $1.05 billion were granted through Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and $185 million through Popular Bank, the financial institution’s banking subsidiary in the mainland United States.
Since the start of the program’s second round on April 27, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico had processed 14,082 applications for $660 million in funds, of which $647 million originated in Puerto Rico and $13 million in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Aware of this program’s significance for small and medium businesses on the island, we mobilized our human and technological resources to be able to raise the most funds possible,” Popular Inc. CEO Ignacio Álvarez said.
“We’re extremely pleased that we were able to process all of the completed applications that we have received.”
“We’ll continue to receive and process applications as long as the SBA keeps the program open and funds are available,” he said.
Popular reported that, in Puerto Rico, it has so far processed 15,277 applications for a total of $1.03 billion in funds. These businesses employ more than 227,000 people. Of these requests, 61% percent have been for less than $25,000 and 31% for amounts between $25,000 and $150,000.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are the heart of a community, and at Popular, we support them, particularly at this difficult time,” Álvarez said. “The results demonstrate our commitment and our reach in this segment that is so vital to our economy.”
The PPP program is one of the cornerstones of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) legislation designed to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Congress launched the program with an initial allocation of $349 billion, and due to the massive reception it had, the funds ran out in 13 days.
The program was reactivated on April 27, with an additional allocation of $310 billion. In this second round, through May 1, the SBA had approved $176 billion in loans.