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Facilitating Over $3.4 Billion in PPP Loan Applications—and Expanding Our Reach

Jeanette Quick Lead Counsel for Financial Services at Gusto 

Since the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) went live on April 3rd, Gusto has helped more than 70,000 customers get the documentation required to apply for aid to help them take care of their teams and protect their businesses. As a group, these 70,000 businesses have qualified for $3.4 billion in government funding to help keep their businesses afloat.

Though PPP was designed to deliver immediate relief to small businesses, we continue to hear that getting a loan approved has been anything but easy or fast. Many have been turned away by their own banks — who are either at capacity, not participating in the program, or making it challenging to apply. 

We’ve heard that bigger businesses are at an unfair advantage in applying for funds and, in some cases, are being prioritized above the smallest businesses who need the relief most. The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently published the average PPP loan size to date — and it’s $206,000. That is more than four times the aid that we estimate our small businesses need. Large businesses getting funded means there are less funds for the smallest businesses. This also means that the government fund will repeatedly drain down to zero while the very small business applications wait to be processed. 

We know this is because larger SMBs are more likely to have resources — such as in-house lawyers, finance staff or an existing relationship with a large bank — that helped them apply for PPP as soon as it opened. Yet, businesses with fewer than 100 employees employ nearly half of the workers in the United States — and their paychecks matter.  That’s why we have prioritized making the PPP process as easy as possible for our small businesses, giving them their best shot at accessing this needed relief.

Aid is only good if it actually helps. And, with an estimated one in ten small businesses less than a month away from closing permanently, faster deployment of widespread funds is vital. Further, at the current burn rate, it is estimated that only 10% of small businesses in the country will end up obtaining PPP funds — even with the second tranche of $320 billion added to the PPP.

We’ve partnered with large-scale lenders, including Cross River Bank, Funding Circle, Fundera and Lendio, to make it easy for customers to get funding fast. While loans are being approved, we’re simultaneously building tools to help customers navigate the forgiveness process, enabling in-product insights to keep our customers on track to get 100% loan forgiveness.

With approval of additional funds from Congress, we’re expanding that help to the small business community at large. If you’re still looking for a lender, work with one of our Paycheck Protection Program lending partners.

While PPP loans are a new tool designed specifically to help small businesses and their employees survive this crisis, there are other options available as well. Each comes with specific eligibility criteria, and participation in one program can change how a small business can use the funds from another. We know that all of the options out there can be a lot of overwhelming noise for an SMB owner whose time is better spent focused on adapting and surviving. That’s why we’ve gathered COVID-related Relief Resources for SMBS together in one place.

We know that this is only the beginning of helping small businesses regain their footing. Small businesses are essential to the health and happiness of our communities and our economy. We hope these resources help #bendthecurveforsmallbiz, not just for our customers, but for the over 30.2 million small businesses that employ nearly half of our country’s private workforce. 

Jeanette Quick
Jeanette Quick Jeanette Quick is Lead Counsel for Financial Services at Gusto. Prior to Gusto, she was Head of Compliance and Deputy General Counsel at Scratch, a fintech loan servicer. Jeanette was also Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, where she was the lead advisor on consumer and small business finance, and Senior Attorney at the OCC. She lives in San Francisco with her fiancee and is passionate about helping people be financially healthy.

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