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SBA confirms Puerto Rico lenders approved 2,856 loans totaling $659M

The U.S. Small Business Administration released a report today confirming that Puerto Rico’s banking partners approved a combined 2,856 loans for a total of $658.5 million under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as of April 16.

In total, the loan count for eligible businesses across the U.S. mainland and its territories totaled 1.7 million, representing $342 billion, and a participation of 4,975 lenders, according to the report.

California, Texas, New York and Florida were the most active states, the study revealed. The overall average loan size is $206,000.

Attempts to get a breakdown of the loans approved at the local level, to provide specifics about which Puerto Rico small businesses benefited, were unsuccessful because the money is put up by the private bank, backed by the SBA, an agency source said.

“The PPP is not government money being loaned out,” the source said. If that were the case, the information about the loan recipients could potentially be disclosed.

Late Thursday, Banco Popular revealed it had approved the majority of the local loans, with $494 million, under the PPP.

Of these, $398 million was granted through Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and $96 million through Popular Bank, Popular’s banking subsidiary on the U.S. mainland.

Meanwhile, Oriental confirmed it approved more than $140 million in loans, the majority of which have been disbursed, CEO Ganesh Kumar said.

The loans were granted to some 900 businesses and companies with a combined 25,000 employees. About 80% of the loans went to small and mid-sized businesses, with an average loan of $50,000, he said.

Oriental managed to guarantee 85% of the applications received, he said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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