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Your choice of a PPP loan lender could affect the local economy

Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 10:17 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The next round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans is coming, and it’s time businesses can prepare to apply by choosing a lender.

The Wisconsin Bankers Association warns against non-banks weighing in on the PPP process. According to Eric Skrum, a WBA spokesperson, there are “huge advantages” of working with a local bank, especially if it’s one that a business has worked with in the past.

“Part of the strength of banking is that they know their customers which means they can leverage that knowledge to assist in the decision of whether a PPP loan is the right step or if there is another option you should pursue. The reality is that PPP might not fit your business, but banks have a variety of other tools they can offer,” he said.

Paul Hoffmann, the president and CEO of Monona Bank, calls it a “win-win situation” whenever his business helps his local partners.

For the customer, Hoffmann said that there are perks such as faster, direct communication, particularly over the “little questions” of getting the application right.

When his bank profits, he said that his roughly 700 local shareholders can put the money back into the local economy.

“Whenever you can cooperate with another local business, it’s the best thing,” Carol “Orange” Schroeder, the co-owner of Orange Tree Imports, said. Recently having her first PPP loan forgiven, Schroeder said she will be applying for an additional loan.

“The second one is going to be a lifesaver for a lot of business. We’re really pleased that it’s coming. Because it [the pandemic] is lasting a whole lot longer than any of us thought it might,” she said.

Businesses can start applying in the coming days, once more guidance comes out of the Small Business Administration.

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