SBA launches tool to match underserved borrowers with PPP lenders

With time running out for eligible entities to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced Friday that it has revived its Lender Match online tool to help underserved and disadvantaged small businesses connect with PPP lenders.

In a news release, the SBA described Lender Match as an additional resource for “pandemic-affected small businesses who have not applied for or received an approved PPP loan to connect with lenders.” The SBA also has asked its lender network to prioritize underserved borrowers such as socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, military veterans and their spouses, women, and rural communities.

Lender Match will provide online referrals matching small businesses and not-for-profits with a host of small lenders and those that specialize in servicing borrowers in underserved and disadvantaged areas. Specifically, matches will be made with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), Farm Credit System lenders, and microlenders. The tool will connect borrowers only with lenders that have less than $10 billion in assets.

Friday’s announcement comes 11 days before the June 30 deadline for PPP applications. Borrowers that enter their information into Lender Match will receive an email from lenders matched with them in fewer than two business days. Borrowers will then be able to begin the application process directly from the email they receive.

The PPP provides forgivable loans that qualified borrowers can use to cover payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. Congress has allocated $659 billion to the program, with more than $140 billion still available as of June 18.

Lender Match was first launched in 2017 to connect small businesses with SBA lenders. SBA paused the program in March due to implementation work and intense loan volume stemming from the passage of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, P.L. 116-136, the legislation that created the PPP.

AICPA experts discuss the latest on the PPP and other small business aid programs during a weekly virtual town hall. The webcasts, which provide CPE credit, are free to AICPA members. Go to the AICPA Town Hall Series webpage for more information and to register.

The AICPA’s SBA Paycheck Protection Program Resources page houses resources and tools produced by the AICPA to help address the economic impact of the coronavirus.

For more news and reporting on the coronavirus and how CPAs can handle challenges related to the outbreak, visit the JofA’s coronavirus resources page or subscribe to our email alerts for breaking PPP news.

Jeff Drew (Jeff.Drew@aicpa-cima.com) is a JofA senior editor.

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