Zions’ digital PPP loan app pays off for small businesses in pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned out bad for most businesses, but the family-owned stores that dot the nation’s commercial landscape have suffered tremendously, for lack of larger coffers that have helped businesses stay afloat during the outbreak. .

Utah’s Zions Bancorporation, a banking holding company that operates affiliate banks in 11 states in the western United States, mitigated the blow by quickly digitizing the process by which small businesses could apply for federal loans offered in pandemic response. Until 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has helped process nearly 48,000 loans totaling $ 6.9 billion, according to Ken Collins, executive director of portfolio management, who oversaw the program for Zions, who manages nearly $ 82 billion in assets.

“It was extremely critical that we come up with a simple, digital solution that allows small businesses to apply and get their funds quickly,” says Collins of PPP, who won the CIO 100 award in 2021 for innovation.

Zions’ PPP service came in response to the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), a $ 2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed in March 2020. The bill included the $ 349 billion emergency PPP loan program, in which the Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided forgivable loans of up to $ 10 million to provide relief to financially struggling small businesses . Banks and credit unions were responsible for administering the funds at the local level.

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