STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– The Paycheck Protection Plan gets a new infusion of cash on Monday. The latest stimulus package passed by Congress puts $310 billion into a program that offers forgivable loans to small businesses that keep their employees.
In Colorado, about 41,000 loans worth $7.4 billion were doled out as part of round one of the Paycheck Protection Program and community banks like Yampa Valley Bank in Steamboat Springs processed more than half of them.
Bank President PJ Wharton says they’re primed for round two, “We have a queue of people waiting who missed out, so we basically have their loans processed so we can press send.”
The small bank pulled off a small miracle to make the program work. On day one, they couldn’t process one loan.
“And then we all came in and worked all weekend,” says Wharton.
They had to build a system overnight to handle the overwhelming demand, “It’s like flying a plane and building it at the same time and you’re going along at 200 mph.”
But he says at a community bank like Yampa Valley, they know what’s on the line. They know the small business owners personally, “These are the mom and pop businesses that run America and create jobs in America and having conversations like, ‘PJ I don’t know I’m going to make it to June’ …our hearts ache.”
In one week, Wharton says, Yampa Valley Bank lent twice as much money as it does in a typical year, processing just over 400 loans worth $33 million.
“I have never put more trust in the Treasury and (Small Business Administration) in my career. I’ve been doing this 30 years, I’ve never been through anything like this.”