SBA Guam Branch Manager Lujan welcomes Senate approval of more PPP funding; House vote is next

The SBA's Guam Branch Manager Ken Lujan is hopeful for speedy passage.

The U.S. Senate has approved a $310 billion refill for the Paycheck Protection Program administered by the Small Business Administration.

That’s a welcome relief for hundreds of Guam businesses whose loan applications have been approved but have not yet received the money.

Last Friday, just two weeks after it was launched, the Paycheck Protection Program exhausted its initial allocation of $350 billion.

The program authorizes forgivable loans to small businesses to cover up to eight weeks of payroll expenses as long as they keep their employees on the payroll.

The unprecedented nationwide shutdown of businesses and layoffs of millions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted an avalanche of applications for the SBA program.

The SBA’s Guam Branch Manager Ken Lujan is hopeful for speedy passage.

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“There is a need for continuation of funding to help provide assistance for disaster relief for the community. So I’m glad that our leaders in Washington D.C are moving forward with the bill and I hope that the President is going to sign it into law soon,” Lujan said.

Guam businesses and nonprofits secured $102.4 million in SBA-backed loan approvals from the seven participating Guam banks before the program ran out of money.

BankPacific President and CEO Phil Flores is confident all approved loans will get their money

“Once the approval has been given SBA asks that the loan be closed and funded within 10 days. So if somebody has been approved and has yet to be funded, it’s still gonna happen,” Flores said.

He added: “Approvals are not being made by the bank. Approvals are being made by the SBA. And SBA is the one with the ledger saying ‘How much money do I have left?’ So I’m assuming that they would not approve a loan for which they didn’t have the money to fund.”

Congressman Micheal San Nicolas issued a release this morning saying he expects the House to act on the measure by the end of this week.

San Nicolas said he is “very pleased that $30 billion dollars have been negotiated for smaller markets like ours.”