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Wells Fargo to donate $400 million in PPP fees to small business recovery effort

Wells Fargo detailed plans Thursday to donate $400 million in processing fees it earned from the Paycheck Protection Program to an initiative it says will help small businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

In April, NPR reported that banks took in over $10 billion in fees from the federal government for handling the Paycheck Protection Program, which is administered by the Small Business Administration and designed to provide relief for small businesses.

The bank announced its recovery effort, the “Open for Business” fund, in a news release Thursday morning.

The fund will work with nonprofits that provide capital, technical support and programs for resiliency, for example by helping a business pivot its supply chain, said Jenny Flores, head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy for the bank.

The first round of funding will give $28 million to community lenders known as Community Development Financial Institutions that help Black-owned small businesses,

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Giant small business program poses herculean challenge for US banks

New York (AFP) – After laying off almost all of his workforce across seven stores, Legacy Toys owner Brad Ruoho sees a path to rehiring them only if the new $350 billion US small business lending program performs as promised.

Passage of the giant US relief package that includes the program “enabled us to feel more confident about bringing on extra help,” said Ruoho, whose Minnesota-based chain has already re-hired 10 of 75 employees to support a growing e-commerce push.

Ramping up the massive program will be a herculean task for the Small Business Administration (SBA) and for the nation’s banks during a period of skyrocketing unemployment.

Signs were mixed by Friday afternoon, with the biggest US banks at various stages of rolling out their programs and the status of many lenders changing by the minute.

Questions cropped up on everything from bank money-laundering rules to how fast loans could

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3 small business owners describe process of applying for PPP coronavirus loans

The Trump administration’s $349 billion Payment Protection Program launched last Friday to provide emergency loans to American small businesses devastated by coronavirus—if business owners can navigate the confusing application process

Banks were meant to be able to begin accepting applications last Friday, but very few banks had their online portals up and running at that time. Once they did, they were quickly flooded with applications. Bank of America received 10,000 loan applications in the first hour.

By Monday morning, Bank of America had received 177,000 applications for a total of $32.6 billion in loans, or nearly 10% of the $349 billion allotted. (The Small Business Administration told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday evening that there have been 275,000 applications overall, totaling $75 billion in loans.)

Bank of America (BAC) was criticized for initially rejecting applicants who did not have existing commercial loans with the bank, a qualification BofA

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Flaw in government’s coronavirus small business grants scheme leaves hundreds of thousands of small firms all at sea

Small companies across the UK are unable to access the Government’s £12bn grants fund for small firms because of an “anomaly” in its design.

The Government established the Small Business Grant Fund last month offering one-off £10,000 grants to firms operating from properties that are eligible for small business rate relief.

The purpose of the grant is to help small firms cope with the often disastrous impact of the state-ordered anti-Covid-19 lockdown on their sales.

But many small firms operate from properties where the landlord handles any business rate charges or relief claims on their behalf, leaving the firms themselves unable to claim the local council-administered grant.

“This is totally perverse,” said Kevin Cunliffe who runs a printing company called Smart Fleet Media in Warrington, Cheshire.

“We pay business rates through our rent and receive nothing. Identical small firms that claim business rates relief and pay no business rates

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