OnDeck Now Accepting SBA Paycheck Protection Program Applications
When Congress voted to pass a more than $2 trillion dollar stimulus package meant to support the economy during the COVID-19 crisis, the element that stood out to most Americans was the $1,200 direct payments that would be sent to some taxpayers. However, for small business owners, it was the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that garnered the most interest. Unfortunately the program has seen a bit of a rocky start as some banks were reportedly not prepared to accept applications at launch, having only received guidelines a few hours earlier. Luckily banks are now getting up to speed and some non-traditional lenders are looking to help as well. Among them is the FinTech firm OnDeck.
Yesterday, OnDeck announced that it was now processing applications for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Paycheck Protection Program. Currently the FinTech is servicing these loans on behalf of Utah-based Celtic Bank. However OnDeck also notes that, as of April 9th, they have also applied to become a direct SBA lender.
The Paycheck Protection Program is intended to help small business owners and their employees manage through this challenging period. Not only does the PPP offer low-interest loans but these loans may also be eligible for forgiveness, provided that business owners meet certain requirements. Most notably, businesses will need to maintain their payrolls during the downtime (hence the program’s moniker).
Announcing OnDeck’s arrangement to help process PPP applications, the company’s chairman and CEO Noah Breslow said in a statement, “OnDeck recognizes that operating a small business during the COVID-19 outbreak comes with unprecedented challenges. We are proud to play a crucial role in the Paycheck Protection Program and will leverage our proven online lending platform and world class customer service team to process small business applications quickly and transparently.” Breslow added, “Small business owners are dealing with enough uncertainty, and we know their time is valuable. Accordingly, we plan to carefully scale our application intake to ensure an outstanding customer experience and avoid excessive wait times between approval and funding.”
Overall having OnDeck arrange a solution to help with the Paycheck Protection Program application process is a big win for business owners and the FinTech itself. Given the frustrations that some entrepreneurs have already found while attempting to obtain their loans, this option will hopefully prove more user-friendly and help them get the funding they need. As for OnDeck, while they would surely love to be directly handling these loans, reaching a partnership with Celtic — and so quickly — does seem to show their commitment to helping small businesses through this time. Hopefully this move makes an impact and grants small business owners and employees some peace of mind during these uncertain times.