Manchin hears from West Virginia financial institutions: we need federal guidance to issue SBA loans

Senator Manchin Talked With WV Bankers Association, Community Bankers, And Credit Union League Of West Virginia

Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) spoke with the West Virginia Bankers Association, Community Bankers of West Virginia, and the West Virginia Credit Union League to hear their concerns about the ongoing challenges supporting their customers through the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the announcement that banks and credit unions will begin issuing small business loans today, the lenders expressed their frustrations with the lack of guidance and direction from the U.S. Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) on how to implement the small business relief provisions in the recently passed CARES Act. The CARES Act includes nearly $350 billion for a Paycheck Protection Program through the SBA that will provide small businesses and other entities loans to assist with payroll and other costs that are eligible to be forgiven if the business retains its employees and their salary levels.

“Today I heard loud and clear from our West Virginia banks and credit unions: As of today, they do not have the guidance and assurance they need from the U.S. Department of Treasury or the SBA to begin issuing small business loans to the customers they support,” Senator Manchin said. “I am relaying these concerns to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and other Administration officials and urging the SBA to act now to provide the support our local banks and credit unions need to begin issuing these loans to our small businesses as soon as possible. Our community banks and credit unions are the backbone of the financial system in the Mountain State, and I am working hard to make sure our local financial institutions are able to lend the money Congress directed towards small businesses who are suffering due to COVID-19. I appreciate that many of our West Virginia financial professionals took the time to share their concerns with me today and I will continue working to ensure they are able to do their jobs supporting our local economies.”

“West Virginia banks understand the crucial role we play in the well-being of the businesses we serve, and we take great pride in being able to support them through any obstacles they may face. While we understand that the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Treasury are working very hard to implement the new Paycheck Protection Program, our banks have not received complete guidance for processing applications and issuing these loans. We appreciate Senator Manchin hearing us out on this and will continue to work with him and our colleagues at SBA to ensure we are able to provide the much needed support our businesses are counting on throughout this ongoing pandemic,” said Sally Cline, President and CEO of West Virginia Bankers Association.

“Our community bankers across West Virginia appreciate that Senator Manchin took the time to hear our concerns surrounding the launch of the new Small Business Administration loan program. Community banks are the backbone for many small businesses throughout our state and we are eager to support them throughout this ongoing crisis but without proper guidance that is extremely difficult. We will continue to work with Senator Manchin and SBA leaders throughout the state to ensure our community banks can provide this needed relief as soon as possible,” said Donna Tanner, Executive Director of Community Bankers of West Virginia.

“Credit unions in WV appreciate the work of Senator Manchin and the SBA in minimizing the shock to the economy and strengthening its resilience once economic restrictions are lifted. However, we are concerned with the compressed timeline in which financial institutions received the guidelines from SBA for the interim rule, which was just hours before the Payroll Protection Program loans were to go live. We look forward to working with Senator Manchin to improve this situation,” said Ken Watts, President of WV Credit Union League.

A timeline of Senator Manchin’s actions throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.
Senator Manchin launched an information resources page where West Virginians can learn more about the coronavirus pandemic and how to protect themselves and their families. To learn more please click here.
To receive daily updates from Senator Manchin on the coronavirus pandemic, please click here.

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