Enterprise Bank & Trust: PPP Loan Forgiveness & Administration with Abrigo Continues Great Partnership
For most financial institutions, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has meant a mad dash to ramp up resources in time to accept and process applications from community businesses that desperately need the loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in order to survive the economic effects of the coronavirus.
As the second round of PPP funding winds down, many lenders turn their focus to the next steps of the program: Help borrowers apply to have their loans forgiven and track loan reporting.
Deborah Barstow, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Bank & Trust, looks forward to a much smoother process during the forgiveness stage, thanks to the Clayton, Missouri-headquartered bank’s recent partnership with Abrigo and its Sageworks SBA Lending solution.
“It was a lifesaver,” she says. “We are so grateful for this system.”
‘We’re very optimistic’
Based on Enterprise Bank & Trust’s positive experience with Abrigo and the solution during the funding phase of the Paycheck Protection Program, Barstow says, she is hopeful her bank will be able to transition efficiently through the next phase of the program. Between the rapid solution implementation, the helpful support Enterprise received throughout, and the ease with which her team was able to process PPP loans using the online, automated Abrigo solution, Barstow is anticipating a similar experience handling the forgiveness and administration aspects of the PPP loans.
“We’re very optimistic that the forgiveness process is going to be much easier for us than it would be without the solution,” she says.
Features of Abrigo’s SBA Lending solution include a loan forgiveness calculator and a secure portal for borrowers to apply for forgiveness and submit documentation for use of loan proceeds, as well as the ability to produce PPP-specific dashboards and reports.
“We have very high expectations of the forgiveness application and the client portal that comes with Sageworks,” Barstow says.
After manually entering PPP applications into E-Tran, the SBA portal, during the first round of funding, the bank bought the Sageworks SBA Lending solution on Friday, April 24, 2020. By Monday morning, April 27, Barstow and her team were sending loans directly from Abrigo’s E-Tran-integrated solution into the portal for approval when the funding pipeline re-opened. The experience was dramatically different from Enterprise’s first round of application submission.
“We’d developed a process to accept and review the PPP applications, but needed a better way to get them submitted to E-Tran. We keyed our first round and it took us 13 days to key about 1,500 loans,” Barstow says. For the second round of PPP funding, her team worked overnight Monday and – with the help of the Sageworks SBA solution – had submitted thousands of loans by Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, friends at another bank who were entering loans manually reported to Barstow they’d funded 25 loans in the same time frame.
Enterprise Bank & Trust will still be able to use the Abrigo SBA Lending solution for tracking forgiveness on the 1,500 loans it issued in the first round, Barstow notes. The financial institution is a Sageworks ALLL customer and is using it for the allowance for credit losses under the current expected credit loss standard, or CECL. Therefore, all of Enterprise’s PPP loans – including those booked in the first round – are already in the Abrigo platform and will be ready for forgiveness tracking.
Rapid implementation, stellar support
Barstow says some aspects of the Abrigo relationship that were especially noteworthy were the company’s IT and implementation staff. “We could not have done it without your IT team staying up all night with us – literally, we were up until 2 and 3 in the morning Saturday and Sunday night, getting us ready to go by loading the application data into the system so that when the SBA opened the funding, we were ready.”
The solution was easy to use, Barstow says. “Once all the application data was loaded, by Monday morning, all we had to do was push a button.” Nevertheless, Barstow was appreciative of Abrigo’s support team. The situation was constantly changing, and Abrigo kept Enterprise informed of any updates, including SBA E-Tran issues, along the way.
Barstow says she and her team are thankful they were able to secure PPP loans for businesses using Abrigo’s SBA Lending solution. “The system let us create a process – a very efficient process – for dealing with E-Tran and the volume we had.”
Enterprise Bank & Trust organized its E-Tran team so that each person had a job they stuck with throughout the submission process. When funding opened on Monday, April 27, two staffers worked on the submission to E-Tran, and two would look up any errors returned. “It was an incredible, incredible experience, and watching it in the system made it so easy.”
Barstow compared the precise coordination, focus, and teamwork to a rocket launch.
“It was literally,
‘Diane, prepare the next batch of submissions.’
‘The next batch is prepared.’
‘Diane, please submit the batch.’
‘The button is pushed, we are getting results.’
“It was so fun to hear. Sometimes everybody would be talking over each other, and like there is on a rocket launch, at some point, there was silence. We had four teams working 6-hour shifts. They worked 36 hours straight because we didn’t know if the money was going to run out.”
The efforts of Barstow and the entire PPP team are one example of how Enterprise Bank & Trust takes pride in partnering with people and businesses to help their communities thrive. It’s a theme Enterprise Financial Services Corp. President and CEO Jim Lally reinforces on the company’s website.
“When you end your career, you don’t have a building, you don’t have anything tangible to touch,” he says. “But what you have are lives - people around you that have achieved what they want, things that you helped them get to.”