Second round of PPP loans aim to help small businesses stay afloat

Second round of PPP loans available in just over a week

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A second round of money from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is about to hit banks across Central Virginia. The Small Business Administration is reopening the program January 18.

With COVID-19 case numbers climbing in the commonwealth, and a long road ahead before vaccines are widely available, the federal government is extending a helping hand to small business that will suffer the consequences.

“The expectation is that we’re going to be in for a long winter,” said John Asbury, CEO of Atlantic Union Bank.

Small businesses like restaurants and shops are struggling. The head of Richmond-based Atlantic Union Bank says during the first round of PPP loans, his bank gave out more than 11,000 loans totaling $1.7 billion. If you got one before, you can apply again.

“Clearly we learned that we have a very different situation going on. So the need is great,” said Asbury.

60% of PPP loans are meant to keep employees on the books. But the program is also expanding by allowing 40% to be used on not only rent and mortgage but also personal protective equipment, COVID-19 facility renovations and vandalism from protests.

“So what can you do now? You need to go ahead and begin preparing your payroll information. you’re going to need documentation of your payroll file,” said Asbury.

There’s a lot of fine print on the program changes this time around. But aside from paperwork, your business also need to be registered and in good standing and you need to find a bank.

“It’s impossible to estimate what the demand for the program is going to be. We do expect it’s going to substantial,” said Asbury.

Atlantic Union Bank says 85% of PPP loans are under $50,000. If you are applying for forgiveness, Asbury says wait a few weeks because a more streamlined process for that paperwork is coming.

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