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Small business loan program starts Friday

How to find a bank offering the loans amidst expected chaos

HOUSTON – Friday is the day small business owners are supposed to be able to apply for emergency help. Nearly $30 million is available in one-time loans to help businesses make payroll and pay bills right now. But one of the nation’s largest banks said the Payroll Protection Program is not ready.

Chase Bank sent an email to customers Thursday night that reads in part, “Financial institutions like ours are still awaiting guidance from the SBA and the U.S. Treasury. As a result, Chase will most likely not be able to start accepting applications on Friday, April 3, as we had hoped.”

The loan application period started at midnight; but banks sid they received the guidance, 31 pages of rules from the federal government, just hours before.

The rules ask for small businesses to upload their payroll statements, but banks say there is no uniform way to report them. That means some of the statements will have to be reviewed individually.

Banks have concerns about fraud or simple mistakes. After the 2008 financial crisis, banks were held liable for billions of dollars in fines and lawsuits following the rollout of relief efforts then.

If you own a small business and you need one of these loans, call your bank today. If you do not have a relationship with a bank, you can use the SBA website to find a bank near you offering these loans.