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CARES Act expands SBA Buffalo district lender pool

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Fri, May 29th 2020 02:35 pm

Nontraditional lenders provide greater access to capital for entrepreneurs

With the CARES Act providing assistance to small businesses through Paycheck Protection Program and the funding of $349 billion and another $310 billion on April 24, the U.S. Small Business Administration is expanding its lender pool and increasing access to capital for small businesses across Western New York.

“Since the CARES Act, the Buffalo District has added nine credit unions to SBA’s participating lending pool,” said SBA District Director Franklin J. Sciortino. “It is exciting to see the interest and support going out to our local small businesses. We continue to encourage all eligible lenders to participate and all eligible borrowers that need this assistance to work with their lenders and apply.”

The CARES Act allows the authority to make PPP loans to be extended to additional lenders to allow as many eligible borrowers as possible to receive loans by the June 30 deadline. SBA has approved nearly 3700 new lenders to join the Paycheck Protection Program, including 3,500 Small Banks and 690 credit unions. These smaller lenders alone account for 43% of the total PPP dollars nationwide and over half of the number of approvals.

In the Buffalo District, new participating lenders include: SJP FCU (aka St. Joseph’s Parish), FCU of Buffalo, Inner Lakes FCU, Lake Shore FCU, Great Erie FCU, CCSE FCU, Genesee Valley FCU, ST. Pius X Church FCU, Genesee Co-op FCU and Family First of NY FCU.

“The CARES Act has strengthened SJP’s ability to provide small businesses with the resources they need to maintain their payroll and hire back employees,” said Mike Bondanza, CEO of SJP FCU. “Already, we’re seeing these loans put to use by small businesses that have already recalled employees and reopen their businesses.”

KOLT Access & List Inc. in Williamsville is just one of several small businesses helped by SJP FCU. “We are so grateful to the SBA and especially Mike Bondanza for approving us for our PPP loan,” said president and owner Cynthia Kolt. “PPP has enabled us to survive and maintain livelihood of nine families during the global crisis. PPP has also enabled us to maintain service to the hundreds of disabled and elderly who rely on us for their day to day mobility.”

Great Erie FCU Vice President Lending Fayda Hathaway said, “The Great Erie FCU is proud to be able to work with the SBA Buffalo District office to support local businesses through the CARES ACT, Paycheck Protection Program. Helping local small businesses get back on their feet during these difficult times is what we aim to do as a WNY Member-owned financial cooperative.”

“As a self-employed business owner, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, my business was completely shut down,” said Vic Sieracki Jr. “Without the guidance and assistance from Great Erie Federal Credit Union (Fayda Hathaway and Barbara Maira) I would not have received my SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan. Fayda and Barbara were able to act as the conduit to SBA and streamline the application process.”

Entrepreneurs who wish to learn about the Paycheck Protection Program can visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options or https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/assistance-for-small-businesses.

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