In an interview with NPR Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal Friday, former American Bankers Association Chair Laurie Stewart said that additional funding for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program would be appropriate as many small businesses continue to struggle due to the coronavirus and will likely face a very challenging winter.
“I definitely think that another round is needed,” Stewart, who is president and CEO of Sound Community Bank in Seattle, told Ryssdal. “I would like to see us prioritize small businesses, communities of color. I think there’s still outreach and education to do there, so I’d like to see that first. But I also really worry about businesses that thought they were going to make it, and now are really worried they aren’t.”
Stewart also discussed the PPP forgiveness process, noting that Sound Community Bank has forgiven about half of the PPP loans they have made and that “the smaller ones . . . are getting forgiven faster.” Overall, she added that the forgiveness process has gone “better than we thought it would. And while it started slow, and there’s still guidance that needs to be clarified, we’re clicking along.”