ICBA told Congress that the Paycheck Protection Program needs a simple, easy-to-use forgiveness process to ensure the program works as intended for small-business borrowers.

Hearing: Testifying before the House Small Business Committee, ICBA Chairman Robert Fisher said community banks support a forgiveness process that is minimally burdensome for borrowers so they can focus on preserving their businesses.

Testimony: The president and CEO of Tioga State Bank in Spencer, N.Y., said that while ICBA appreciates the SBA’s creation of its Direct Borrower Forgiveness Portal to streamline forgiveness for borrowers with smaller loans, the agency must respect lenders that choose not to use the portal.

Portal: Fisher noted that PPP lenders this week received an SBA email encouraging lenders to opt into the direct forgiveness portal to avoid audits. “We resent the coercive tone of this email,” Fisher said.

Background: In a national news release, ICBA noted that community banks:

  • Accounted for nearly 60 percent of the PPP’s total loan amount.
  • Led the banking industry in lending to minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses.
  • Served rural, suburban, and urban communities while saving jobs in critical sectors.