The program allows businesses with less than 500 employees to borrow money from the government guarantee lenders


BBVA Compass branch, Compass South Congress, Austin, Texas. (Credit: Wikipedia/WhisperToMe)

Sunbelt-based financial institution Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) USA has announced its plans to start processing customer applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

PPP is said to be a key component of the recently passed CARES Act, to deliver relief for small businesses, and is administered through the Small Business Administration (SBA).

BBVA USA banking business executive director Elizabeth Dobers said: “We are proud to be among the first banks prepared to process these applications, because we recognize how important this funding will be to small business customers.

“During this challenging time, we want to do everything we can to help small business customers navigate the process and quickly help them secure the money they need before the nearly $350 billion allocation is gone.”

Small businesses can use loans for employees’ insurance and retirement coverage

Under the PPP, businesses with less than 500 employees are allowed to borrow money from the government guarantee lenders to fund up to 2.5 times their monthly payroll and other employee expenses, including health insurance and retirement coverage.

In addition, the businesses would be eligible to have their loan balances forgiven, if all the employees are retained throughout the announced time period.

BBVA said that it will start accepting applications beginning 3 April 2020, with small business customers receiving email containing details on the application process.

Working directly with their relationship managers, commercial and wealth business customers are advised to submit applications with their current financial institution.

Furthermore, impacted small business customers are also allowed to contact their bankers to discuss options including payment deferrals and extensions, along with potential fee waivers.

BBVA SBA division manager Greg Clarkson said: “BBVA has always been heavily focused on small businesses, recognizing that entrepreneurs and small business owners are the backbone of our communities.

“Our experience and understanding of the SBA process gives us a bit of an inside track, navigating through government processes and funding loans quickly.”

BBVA operates 641 branches in the US, with a significant number of them being located in Texas.