April 29, 2020, Oakland, Calif. -- Beneficial State Bank announced today it has received SBA approval on nearly 850 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans worth more than $170 million between the first and second rounds of the program’s funding, with two-thirds of the loans going to businesses with 20 employees or fewer and an estimated 22% going to businesses owned by women or people of color. More than 15,000 employees working for the small businesses suffering from the economic fallout of the Covid-19 crisis will receive paychecks thanks to these loans.
During the second round of funding, which kicked off Monday and included a Congressional set-aside of $30 billion for community banks and Community Development Financial Institutions that target underserved communities, Beneficial State Bank processed more than 500 loans in two days. The average loan size was under $150,000.
Between the first and second PPP tranches, the bank has processed a larger number of loans in just a few weeks than it would over four years under normal circumstances.
“The news has been filled with demoralizing stories of larger corporations and public companies taking money meant for nonprofits and truly small businesses during the first round of PPP funding. The vast majority of our loan recipients have fewer than 20 employees and are the exact folks this money was intended to help weather this crisis,” said Randell Leach, CEO of Beneficial State Bank. “The volume and pace has been intense and our staff is working around the clock, but everyone understands these loans aren’t just for companies, these are for people and families and communities that need these loans to survive. And that is what drives us.”
Based on an analysis of approximately two-thirds of the approved loans, 22% have gone to businesses owned by women or people of color, 34% are nonprofits, and almost 90% are mission-aligned, with funds going to businesses that support job development, health and wellness services, social justice, education and youth services and environmental sustainability.
Soon after business owners were able to apply for the first round of PPP loans on April 3, Beneficial State instated a systematic and standardized approach to process the high volume of inquiries. This enabled the bank to better process applications and is the reason it could process so many loans when round two kicked off Monday. The bank’s goal was to get at least 200 applications ready to go when the starting gun went off Monday and process at least 70 a day. As of mid-afternoon Tuesday, the bank had more than 480 loans approved, more than it processed in all of the first round.
Beneficial State Bank has dedicated more than 50% of its commercial and business banking staff and over 20% of its total workforce to deploying the system being used to process the applications and loans, and will continue to process loans for its communities as long as funds are available.
“We continue looking for ways to increase capacity to get as many loans through and help as many people as we can,” Leach said. “Although it’s felt like a sprint, this is a marathon, and we’re ready to help our communities weather this crisis. We’ve always been here for the underserved and will continue to be for the long haul.”
As a federally certified Community Development Financial Institution and certified B Corporation, Beneficial State provides under-resourced communities fair and transparent banking services.
About Beneficial State Bank
Mission-driven Beneficial State Bank is a state-chartered, federally insured Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and a “Best Overall” Certified B Corporation® since 2013. Headquartered in Oakland, California, and founded as a social enterprise bank in 2007, Beneficial State Bank has grown organically and through aligned acquisition to serve the three West Coast states. Beneficial State Bank holds to a triple-bottom-line of social justice, environmental well-being, and economic sustainability. Over 75% of commercial loans outstanding support affordable housing, renewable energy and environmental sustainability, education, and youth development, and other mission-aligned business structures and ventures. The Bank has no individual shareholders demanding that the Bank maximize profits in their interest. Rather, 100% of the economic rights of Beneficial State Bank are owned by nonprofit organizations. Beneficial State Foundation, the majority beneficial owner, measures and supports the social and environmental impact of the Bank and works to change the banking system for good.