PPP funding pumps millions of dollars into county businesses

Bankers working long hours

By Mark Reaman

Millions of dollars have been injected into the local economy through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) funded through the federal government. In a quick survey of some of the financial institutions located in Crested Butte and Gunnison, it appears money is flowing to many local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown.

The ICELab reported two weeks ago in one of the Gunnison County’s regular daily COVID-19 updates that, “Just two of our local banks alone have had over 150 PPP loans approved to date (with more expected). The PPP loans approved a total of over $13 million for local businesses. Based on this total, it is estimated that a minimum of 1,250 jobs were saved (temporarily) through PPP in Gunnison County.”

According to a U.S. Treasury website, Colorado had more than 41,000 PPP loans approved for $7.3 billion by the middle of April through the Small Business Administration (SBA). In the second round, Colorado businesses received another $3 billion.

The Gunnison Bank and Trust Company (the Crested Butte Bank and the Gunnison Bank) had successfully processed 185 applications before the SBA funding ran out in round one. According to Tina Kempin, branch president of the Crested Butte Bank, those 185 applications totaled more than $8 million.

“We expect to process another 100 applications through the SBA’s system for Round 2 of PPP, assuming the SBA’s system allows us to,” Kempin said on a morning the SBA website crashed as round two got under way at the end of April. “Our employees are working very hard, around the clock, processing the applications. We have broken into four teams of four to five people to efficiently review, submit, document and fund all of the requests.”

This week, Kempin updated the countywide figures to May 4. She said Gunnison Bank and Trust has processed a total of 302 PPP loans between rounds one and two totaling $12,324,000.

“We are pleased to be able to offer PPP loans for our community, as it benefits our entire valley in the long-run,” added Kempin. “We have an incredible team at the bank that has made processing and closing that many loans, in such a short period of time, possible.”

Over at the Community Banks of Colorado, Small Business Association division director Mark Abell reported that as of April 30, 64 clients in Crested Butte and 108 clients in Gunnison County have been funded for the PPP.

“Community Banks of Colorado has helped secure $4,122,300 in PPP loans in Crested Butte, and $6,208,800 for all of Gunnison County,” said Abell. ”Overall, we have 2,214 clients who have applied for a PPP loan. Of those, 1,460 have been funded, and we are working around the clock to ensure that the 773 clients still waiting receive their SBA authorization and funding.”

The entire Community Banks organization, Abell said, has funded more than $333 million in PPP loans, and is working on an additional $64 million.

Abell said the application process can take a few minutes or much longer. “It depends on the complexity of the business. It can take as little as 10 minutes, or as much as a couple of hours,” he said. “Our bankers have done a tremendous job helping our clients with their application and gathering the appropriate documents. The entire bank is rallying behind this program. We were able to build out a process in three days, and adjusted the process as we received guidance from the SBA. We have teammates volunteering to work nights and weekends, in addition to helping different departments outside of their own to ensure we help every client.”

The Crested Butte News reached out to the Bank of the West branch in Crested Butte and were directed to the corporate media division. “We don’t have anything to add to your story but appreciate you reaching out,” was their response.

The News also tried to reach Gunnison Savings and Loan but did not get a return phone call.

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