Federal relief loan chaos on Twitter: banks turn small businesses away - Business Insider - Business Insider

Federal relief loan chaos on Twitter: banks turn small businesses away - Business Insider - Business Insider

Federal relief loan chaos on Twitter: banks turn small businesses away - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 03 Apr 2020 02:39 PM PDT

  • The federal government promised relief funding would be up and running today.
  • But small business owners are met with bank delays and broken webpages, and some have been turned away completely. 
  • Customers turned to Twitter to express their frustration — one compared the chaos to being the poor on the Titanic. "We don't get the lifeboats!" she said. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday told small business owners that applications for federal funding would be 'up and running' by today — but big banks like Bank of America and Chase seem to have missed the memo. 

Business owners attempting to access the online applications were met with broken webpages or straight-up denial — and they're proclaiming their dissatisfaction with the chaos on Twitter. 

The highly anticipated program known as the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) will give loans up to $10 million to support small business employers and independent contractors who retain workers during the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

As Business Insider's Dominick Reuter reported, banks, fintech platforms, and other financial institutions were expected to perform a critical function in processing and disbursing funds for the $349 billion small business relief program. But a combination of high demand, conflicting information, and changing guidance are causing significant uncertainty for lenders and borrowers.

Entrepreneur John Resnick said he spoke to two banks today and neither was ready to process a loan. "Also not true you can go to any bank. Tried to go to another bank and was told unless you have a biz account with them, they are not processing a loan," he said on Twitter. 

Lisa Dye said she couldn't get a PPP loan regardless of the years she's used Bank of America. 

"Being a #bankofamerica business customer is like being one of the poor on the Titanic. We don't get the lifeboats!" she said on Twitter. 

Financial advisor Michael H. Baker likened the process to a trainwreck. 

Congressman Don Beyer posted images of broken webpages and delay notices from Chase, Capital One, and Citibank. "Here's what small business owners are looking at right now when they try to get PPP loans from banks," he wrote. 

Another screenshot showed Bank of America's qualifications that small businesses must have preexisting lending relationships and a credit card with the bank as of February 15, 2020. 

Entrepreneur Eric Martel said he's been a business customer of Bank of America for 17 years. "I tried to apply for SBA Paycheck Protection to pay for employees and they denied me. Looking for another bank," he said on Twitter. 

Another user said they couldn't apply for a PPP loan through Bank of America because they didn't have a business loan or credit card with the bank. 

Below, read how business owners are reacting to the bank's inability to process their loans.


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