When the new package of stimulus programs designed for small business aid made their way out into the public, it was a quick sigh of welcome relief to many. With non-essential businesses being forced to close and even essential businesses, like trucking, slowing down from a roar to a trickle, relief of this magnitude was bound to be a helping hand to small businesses. Unfortunately, the mass confusion when the PPP loan was opened up, not only to those it was meant to help but the banks that were going to be funding the programs as well, left everyone in the dark so to speak. Having to sift through the bits and pieces of information and hear-say, this was my approach and path to finally getting an approval.
To say the loan programs for the stimulus relief to small business were dropped in the laps of all of us out there would be a drastic understatement! About all I knew when they were released was that there were SBA loans out there to help deal with the economic slowdown for small businesses, but no direction on where to go to apply, or even who would aid in administering the loans. Luckily the great folks at ATBS put together a comprehensive e-book to help navigate through the darkness of misinformation. The ease of applying for the PPP and the forgiveness option for continual employment made it a great option for aid, so I decided to go for it in an effort to help weather the storm that seemed to be coming in the general freight market ahead.
That same day that I read the e-book from ATBS, my bank happened to email me regarding their ability to take applications for the PPP as an approved SBA lender. In what seemed to be a simple process of a few questions to calculate a loan amount based on 2.5 times an average monthly payroll amount, then uploading some proof documentation, I was able to complete the application in less than 15 minutes online. Though the application was easy enough and I received a confirmation of receipt from my bank immediately, stating that the processing time could take up to seven days due to a large amount of response to the PPP in general, it was then that the “great wait” would begin!
In the days that followed my submitting the initial application, I will be honest that I felt a sense of anxiety and angst in waiting to hear back on a formal approval. With headlines in the news about funds depleting rapidly due to an overwhelmingly unanticipated response and no injection of more funds to replenish the program, I worried I would not get approval quickly enough. By the seventh day after applying, I still did not see a formal approval and that’s when it was time to reach out on day eight post-application. With no response on the eighth day after submission, I decided to open a case via phone call into the main bank branch, which by end of the day finally resulted in my receiving an email that I had been approved by the SBA and the bank would be contacting me regarding final funding.
Through all the wait and wonder, my patience was tested and ultimately rewarded after navigating the corridors of uncertainty. So when I hear from my friends throughout the industry the frustration that comes with their not knowing where they stand in the process after application, take solace in my experience of it having to take some time for approval due to such a vast response to the program from the businesses across America. So many forms of financial aid were injected in such a short time when this all happened, it seems as though the government entities responsible for them are running to catch up! Know that if your application is in, you are in the mix and do not be afraid to follow-up with your lending institution to escalate your submission if necessary.
I wish all out there in the process of waiting for much-needed aid a swift approval process and positive outcome. Also, do not be afraid or intimidated to apply for this aid by thinking it is too complex or from the pressure of what others may think since it’s sole purpose is to help the forthcoming times of economic recovery. It is far better to be prepared with much of the unknown still ahead of us all, rather than coming up short in the event things get worse before they get better.