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CDFI Beneficial State Bank, Aided by Abrigo, Goes All Out To Secure PPP Small Business, Nonprofit Loans

April 21, 2020
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Pulling out all the stops for the community

Beneficial State Bank has been pulling out all the stops to help small businesses and nonprofits in need of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

The Oakland, Calif.-based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) rapidly implemented a new loan processing platform integrated with the Small Business Administration (SBA), redeployed over 50% of its Commercial & Business Banking staff and over 15% of its total staff to process PPP loans, and has supported applicants in Oregon, Washington, and California who are suffering from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.

CDFI rapidly implemented PPP loan processing platform

Beneficial State Bank has been awarded SBA approval for 333 PPP applications worth $94.5 million, with 450 in-process from current and new customers collectively seeking more than of $100 million in loans. The bank began funding the loans April 15. In total, these businesses employ over 10,000 people that would be paid via the proceeds of these emergency relief loans. Funding for the Paycheck Protection Program ran out April 17, but the bank has been reviewing and trying to complete remaining applications in its queue so they are ready for resubmission if the program re-opens.

The bank has so far analyzed a third of its approved PPP applications and found nearly 20% are businesses owned by women or people of color, more than 35% are nonprofits or B Corporations, and almost 90% are mission-aligned, with funds going to businesses that support job development, health and wellness services, social justice, education and youth services, and environmental sustainability.

Soon after business owners were able to apply for PPP loans on April 3, Beneficial State instated Abrigo’s SBA Lending technology platform and systemized approach to be able to process the 2,000 inquiries received. This enabled the bank to better process applications.

Streamline the PPP loan submission process

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‘We took measures into our own hands’

“The influx of applications has been immense--we’ve seen more than two-years’ worth of business loan inquiry volume come flooding in within a matter of days--and the guidance from the federal government has been ambiguous and piecemeal. We took measures into our own hands and instated critical processes to ensure Beneficial State Bank was better positioned to handle the volume,” said Randell Leach, CEO of Beneficial State Bank. “Our teams have been working around the clock to set up an efficient process, and we are allocating additional resources to support our response to the community and provide access to these essential funds. We recognize the pressing need, and we want to help as many people as we can, as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

“At this point, we can’t guarantee any funding will be approved, or that funding won’t run out again,” he said. “What we want you to know is that we are going to try our best to get you, your business, and employees help.”

Beneficial State Bank has dedicated over 50% of its commercial and business banking staff and over 15% of its total workforce to deploying the system being used to process the applications and loans, and expects that number to grow. Other staff are helping clients with additional needs during the crisis, including deferring loan payments, waiving fees, and hosting virtual financial wellness workshops

CDFI will continue to fine-tune system to help community

Beneficial State Bank’s resource page, including PPP loan information and progress, is referenced on its website. The information is updated nearly every day to keep up with the fluid situation and new guidance from the federal government.

“Business owners are understandably frantic to get this money, and we will continue fine-tuning our system in an effort to help as many people in our communities as we can,” Leach said.

As a federally certified CDFI and certified B Corporation, Beneficial State provides under-resourced communities fair and transparent banking services.

An earlier version of this blog post previously ran on Beneficial State Bank's website.

About Abrigo

Abrigo enables U.S. financial institutions to support their communities through technology that fights financial crime, grows loans and deposits, and optimizes risk. Abrigo's platform centralizes the institution's data, creates a digital user experience, ensures compliance, and delivers efficiency for scale and profitable growth.

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