Paycheck Protection Program Letter
Southern First Bank’s statement regarding our participation in the CARES Act - Paycheck Protection Program
Our bankers have received hundreds of calls this week regarding the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program of the CARES Act that was passed one week ago. Since the misinformation regarding this program is rampant, I felt compelled to share the specifics regarding our participation in the program and the limitations we face. While the media and even our Treasury Secretary have made comments about businesses being able to obtain these loans beginning today (Friday April 3rd), the Small Business Administration (SBA) just released final guidance to all banks last evening.
We recognize the enormous benefit this program can mean to businesses as you attempt to maintain your employees during this COVID-19 pandemic. Our bank is working diligently to assist all of our clients during this difficult time and we will devote every possible resource to participate in this Paycheck Protection Program. Southern First Bank has just been approved as a SBA lender and we are working hard to comply with the complexities of this new program. Once we determine that we can comply with the lender responsibilities established by Treasury and the SBA, we will make the decision to participate according to the plan outlined below.
Upon participation, our bank is required to provide the funding for every Paycheck Protection Program loan we make, and the loans are subject to the tier-I capital restraints from our Government Regulators. These limitations combined with the capacity issues during this COVID-19 restricted environment will result in our bank only being able to fulfill a small number of requests that we receive from our clients. The banking industry is being asked to facilitate this Government Program without assistance in terms of funding or guidance in terms of capacity. Despite those hurdles, Southern First Bank is committed to help every client possible gain access to this program.
Here is our participation plan:
- We will email the application and information list for supporting documentation to every client who requests an application beginning next week.
- Submitted applications will be filtered through an allocations committee that focuses on the "needs and jobs" element as spelled out in the CARES Act.
- Approved applications will be sent to the SBA for approval.
- We will close the loan according to the guidelines of the SBA.
We intend to help our clients with the loan forgiveness opportunities within this program and we will work diligently to help as many clients as possible within the restraints and capacity issues of our bank. Our bank recognizes our privilege and responsibility to help clients during this COVID-19 environment including providing every possible resource to participate in this Paycheck Protection Program. Our inability to help every client is a heavy burden for all of us. In that regard, we have provided a list of SBA lenders in the United States on our website as a resource to you.
My sincerest wishes,
R. Arthur Seaver Jr.
Chief Executive Officer