The PPP was created as part of the CARES Act approved by Congress in March 2020.
Most of the loans don’t have to be paid back if a business complies with the loan terms, including a requirement that 60% of the money goes to payroll costs.
The program, aimed at helping small businesses hurt by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, has provided 8.73 million loans totaling $734.1 billion, including 3.6 million loans for $211.8 billion in a new round this year, SBA data show.
In El Paso, WestStar Bank has been the leading PPP lender. It provided 1,700 loans for $264 million in 2020, reported Rick Francis, WestStar’s chief executive officer.
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More than 6,900 El Paso businesses and nonprofits received PPP loans last year, ranging from less than $150,000 up to $5 million, according to SBA data.
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Vic Kolenc contributed to this report