Are you a business owner, small or large? Matching your business with the right bank may make all the difference in ensuring your loan application is not only complete, but also accurate. Along with preparing and applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan properly, it is important to correctly allocate funds and keep diligent records after receiving your loan. Here are some points that James D. Nesci, President & CEO of Blue Foundry Bank and Board Member of the New Jersey Bankers Association, says to keep in mind.
Build a Relationship with the Right Bank
Small business owners may not have a dedicated CFO to deal with the loan process, often navigating on their own. Because of this, working with the right size bank for your business and creating a relationship with your account manager is critical. This important relationship, offering personalized, one-to-one attention is key and beneficial for your business. Establishing this type of relationship can not only be easier with a smaller bank, but it is also more likely that your key contact at the bank will be more available to you in this time of crisis.
Ensure Your PPP Application is Accurate and Complete then Get Your SBA Loan Number
Everyone in Phase One of the PPP loan process had a steep learning curve over a very short time period. The importance of getting the application filled out completely and accurately was one of the biggest takeaways. It might be the difference between receiving your loan or experiencing delays with your application that could result in funds being unavailable by the time the loan is approved. In short, even if you’ve heard that your loan has been submitted or your paperwork is in, unless you get an SBA loan number back from the bank, your loan may still be in a holding pattern and not fully processed. Ask for your SBA loan number.
Records. Records. Records.
What is done after your PPP loan funds are received is equally important to the steps taken to get it. Two words can sum that up: Keep records. As this program is ever-evolving, no one knows how it is going to finally unfold or how it will be audited in the future. Record when the money was deposited into your account and where every dollar went from that initial deposit, along with the timing of the use of the funds. And use the funds honestly and as they were intended.
These are unprecedented times we find ourselves in. Hopefully these suggestions will help to get your business through them and out safely on the other side.