Florida banks ready for a second round of PPP loans
As Covid pummeled the economy in 2020, Florida’s banks were among those leading the nation in Payment Protection Program lending, according to Florida Bankers Association CEO Alex Sanchez.
The new year, he said, will likely bring with it a strong economic recovery driven by a reliable vaccine and pent-up demand for activity. Banks, he continued, will be ready to lend the money that drives a significant portion of economic activity – including a possible second round of PPP loans.
“Florida finished number two in the nation with the amount of approved PPP loans,” he said. “Over 400,000 loans to 400,000 Florida small businesses were processed by banks in Florida.” According to the US Small Business Administration, 432,893 loans were approved in Florida by Aug. 8, worth a total of $32.25 billion.
As Congress debates a new Covid relief package, Mr. Sanchez continued, another round of PPP loans will likely be on the table for small businesses that report a 30% decline in revenue in any quarter.
Though 2020 was a difficult year, he said, a 2021 recovery will boost banks, businesses and consumers alike.
“This has been a challenging year for our communities, for our customers and for everyone with Covid-19,” he said. “As we head into the new year, bankers (and everyone else) are hopeful that vaccines will eliminate that problem once and for all.”
“I think the economy is going to be stronger in 2021,” he continued, “because there’s pent-up demand. People haven’t traveled in a year, people haven’t done a lot of things.”
Local banks, he said, have kept lending throughout the pandemic and are ready for the new year.
“We want to help people get through to the other side of this pandemic,” he said. Many banks that are members of the Florida Bankers Association, he said, helped clients to restructure loans and handle financial hardship. As the economy recovers, he said, they will lend the capital that helps Floridians to become homeowners, car owners and business owners.
“If the economy does well, so do our banks,” Mr. Sanchez said. “The job of a banker is to enhance the economic vitality of the customers and communities they serve.”
Speaking to a banker, he added, is a step anybody can take to better understand their financial situation and options for the future.