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- Friday, Apr. 3, 2020
Bank of America Only Allows Small Business Customers With Existing Loans, Credit Lines and Business Credit Cards To apply for the Paycheck Protection Program
BoA Paycheck Protection Program
Feedback from small businesses on day one of their being able to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program--part of the $2 trillion relief package (the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, aka CARES Act) recently signed into federal law--has been marked by frustration and disbelief over obstacles they are encountering, including at Bank of America.
Owners whose businesses that are customers of Bank of America (BofA) Banking Services and merchant services are finding that their entry of online application is not being accetped at this critical early stage as they’ve been informed that priority is going to those who have credit lines or business loans with BofA; in other words, those that owe money to BofA are being put first in line while other debt-free once stable businesses are not allowed to apply. This has been interpreted by a number of customers as serving the bank’s interest through federal money that has been earmarked to help qualifying small businesses across the board - debt or no debt with their banker. In the first hour online, BofA received over 10,000 applications.
BoA Paycheck Protection Program
Based on our records, your account doesn't qualify to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan through Bank of America
To apply for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan through Bank of America, you must have an existing Small Business relationship with the following:
- Small business checking account open no later than 02/15/2020
- Small business lending relationship, inclusive of credit card, open no later than 02/15/2020
- Online banking username and password
If you don’t meet the qualifications to apply through Bank of America, please contact your primary business lender or visit sba.gov.
If your business needs do not meet eligibility guidelines for CARES Act Loan Forgiveness, visit sba.gov for additional options.
Thus businesses who are ostensibly eligible for the relief program are being told they "don’t qualify" at this time--and that they need to wait, which of course could hurt their being able to access needed relief if program funds run out due to high demand. These “Rejected” business owners even report at this juncture that BofA has referred them to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in order to file their CARE's Paycheck Protection Program applications.
The implications of this early roadblock to businesses in need are alarming. The program could be key to the economy’s recovery. Small businesses employ nearly half of the workers in the private sector. By some estimates, as many as 20 million people could lose their jobs by the end of April.
This morning BofA is the first of the major U.S. banks to accept online applications for the government’s $350 billion small business relief program.