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CDFIs Kick Off PPP Loan Submissions

Mary Ellen Biery
January 12, 2021
Read Time: 0 min

Plus what waiting lenders can do

The latest round of the Paycheck Protection Program began with a head start for institutions aiding low-income areas.

You might also like this whitepaper:
"Beyond PPP: How Savvy Financial Institutions Can Propel Growth and Profitability with Technology"


This Week

CDFIs, MDIs, CDCs, have early access

The 2021 round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has kicked off with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), and other community financial institutions submitting applications for local businesses.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) restricted PPP applications through Wednesday to first-time applicants going through CDFIs, MDIs, Certified Development Companies, and Microloan Intermediaries, aiming to meet Congress’ goal of ensuring money in this round lasts long enough to reach hard-hit businesses, especially in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. CDFIs and the other institutions classified by the SBA as community financial institutions can begin processing so-called second-draw loan applications Wednesday.

Access Timeline

Pipeline will open to more lenders “shortly”

All other banks, credit unions, and other types of lenders will be notified “shortly thereafter” of when they can begin submitting origination requests, the SBA said early Monday. In a later news release, the SBA described the timeframe for other lenders to begin accessing the system as “a few days later,” adding it will provide updates on system operations throughout the week. Lenders will know they are permitted to begin origination in the PPP platform (which is the same platform that supports forgiveness decisioning) when their Lender Location ID (located under Institution Settings) says “Lender Location Enabled for Origination.”

Amid reports that some CDFIs were concerned the SBA had provided insufficient lead time and information for lenders to prepare for the launch, other financial institutions were eager to begin helping borrowers.

“We’re ready,” said William S. Keller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Bank of the Bay, a Community Development Financial Institution serving the San Francisco Bay area from its base in Oakland, Calif.   “The application came out Friday and we worked on it all through the weekend along with our partners at Abrigo, and we’re ready. We’ve been focused on this for a while.”

During the first two rounds of the PPP, Community Bank of the Bay had already helped local businesses in its communities secure 390 loans totaling about $81 million.

See how Community Bank of the Bay partnered with Abrigo to help borrowers. SUCCESS STORY

Bank staff and executives had seen for themselves the impact of the funding on local businesses.

“It made the difference between survival and going out of business, unfortunately, for many businesses,” Keller said. Helping those businesses also helped the $650 million CDFI gain many new clients that have remained on board.

With $284 billion available during this round of the PPP and borrowers facing lower ceilings on their maximum eligible loan amounts, some lenders expect the money may last longer than in the first round of the PPP.

Be Prepared

Steps lenders can take while waiting

As financial institutions await their turn to begin submitting loan applications to the SBA platform, they can take a few steps now to help borrowers and be prepared for the origination process to go more smoothly.

  • Check out platform resources Lenders can spend time getting familiar with the platform through the tutorial videos and additional information about using it under the “Resources” dashboard.
  • Add users to the platform The SBA recommends that lenders’ admin users begin to add users to the PPP platform ( and review the new and updated materials on the resource tab..
  • Complete institution settings They should also take this time to complete “Institution Settings” and provide origination access to the platform for new users.
New This Round

Lenders should register with

Another task that lenders can tackle now is to register with, the System for Award Management (SAM). It is the federal government’s system for registering contractors and any business that intends to do business with it. Registering with is a new requirement during this round of the PPP and is part of the SBA’s efforts to combat fraud. Within the SBA’s interim final rule for new and increased PPP loans issued Jan. 6 was the following information:

Do lenders have to register in to make PPP loans?95

Yes. Given the exigent circumstances in which small businesses and lenders currently find themselves due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PPP lenders will have thirty (30) days from the date of the first PPP loan disbursement made by them after December 27, 2020, to complete SAM registration and provide SBA with the lender’s unique entity identifier.

95 This subsection adds a new requirement that all PPP lenders must register in See 2 CFR 25.110(c)(2)(iii).

To register for, you first must have a account. (

Then, you will need to create a user account in SAM, which will require providing detailed information about the financial institution, including the DUNS number, legal business name, and taxpayer ID number. The account must also be verified.

Lenders aren't required to affirm they have already registered with in order to process applications on the PPP platform. However, SBA staff have indicated the assumption is that if lenders are processing applications, the registration is underway -- if not completed. 

Help your PPP borrowers get loans more quickly.

learn about the sBA Lending Solution
About the Author

Mary Ellen Biery

Senior Strategist & Content Manager
Mary Ellen Biery is Senior Strategist & Content Manager at Abrigo, where she works with advisors and other experts to develop whitepapers, original research, and other resources that help financial institutions drive growth and manage risk. A former equities reporter for Dow Jones Newswires whose work has been published in

Full Bio

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.

Make Big Things Happen.