[Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Susan Doktor. She is a journalist and business strategist who hails from New York City. She writes on a wide range of topics including finance, technology, and workplace issues. Follow her on Twitter @branddoktor.]
Fintech companies, give yourselves a pat on the back. You came into a situation that was a hot mess and made it manageable. In the process, you performed something of a miracle for millions of business owners. You did well by doing good.
We’re talking about the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). You did a great job! But the job’s not over yet.
The PPP officially ended back in August 2020. Given the government’s (now legendary) inability to negotiate and pass a new pandemic relief package, there’s no telling if it’s coming back or the extent to which it will be funded. But during its two funding rounds, the program backed over $520 billion in small business loans. The fintech industry, by breaking through the loan application logjam, was instrumental in helping a unique segment of small business owners: businesses with fewer than ten employees, including the self-employed.
PPP loans are unique themselves. Even the best commercial personal or small loans can’t offer the best feature of PPP loans: under certain proscribed circumstances, the loans are eligible for 100% forgiveness. And that’s the next task for fintech companies—ensuring that loan recipients plot a direct course towards forgiveness so they reap one of the most important benefits of the program. Savvy marketers in the fintech industry will certainly recognize the opportunity to cement customer relationships by serving as PPP authorities around this crucial issue.
Changes Under the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act