OKC ranked first for PPP approval rate, disbursements
Oklahoma City-area businesses were quick to take advantage of federal funding relief from the Small Business Association (SBA) through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), according to data released by SmartAsset.
SmartAsset is a personal finance technology company headquartered in New York City. The company uses financial modeling to provide advice on major financial decisions, credit monitoring and credit scores.
At the time of the analysis, Oklahoma City ranked No. 1 in the nation for both loan approvals (78%) and loan disbursements (64%). Kansas City was second in both categories with a 77% acceptance rate and with 51% who have already received funds. In comparison, San Jose, Calif. ranks near the bottom with 17% of loans distributed.
The company used data from the Census Bureau’s new Small Business Pulse Survey for small businesses for the week spanning April 26 to May 2. Plans are to update the data each week as data becomes available.
SmartAsset’s report was done by calculating PPP loan acceptance rates by dividing the percentage of businesses that received a PPP loan by the percentage of businesses that applied for a loan.
"I think these rankings say volumes about the dedication of our regional banking community to assist our local companies through the process of applying for and processing PPP loans,” said Jeff Seymour OKC Chamber executive vice president for economic development. “We know many local teams were burning the midnight oil helping companies complete applications, and these numbers reflect how that dedication paid off. We can't thank these partners enough for their willingness to support our business community through this crisis.”
Overseen by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the PPP is the largest fixture of federal coronavirus financial relief programs. The program provides forgivable loans to small businesses, defined as those with fewer than 500 employees, to cover payroll and associated costs.
One of Oklahoma City’s businesses that were among the first to take advantage of the PPP offerings was Chamber member Vox Printing, Inc.
"The PPP Loan has been very beneficial to Vox Printing since it can be a forgivable loan, it made the most sense for our company,” said David Reid, president of Vox Printing. “All the other options we had were loans that needed to be repaid. The PPP loan allowed Vox to keep all of the employees on the payroll during the toughest part of the COVID-19 shutdown.”
Reid said the process went relatively smoothly once the federal government got the guidelines so his bank could process the application accurately.
“Kirkpatrick Bank has been our bank for over 20 years and was very helpful in securing the PPP loan in the first round,” Reid said. “They gave us a list of what was needed and kept in touch all the way through. We were updated on the status and funding came quicker than I thought it would. It was a relatively simple process.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by Jeff Ragan, founder and CEO of Kize Concepts, a food service industry with focus on health and nutrition.
“When you see your cash flow immediately and unexpectedly drop overnight, that was tough to swallow,” Ragan said. “Adding the uncertainty and unknown of when things will open and how customers will respond makes it extra difficult. Receiving the PPP was a must-have for survival and a no-brainer to protect our people and keep jobs.”
Kize praised his accounting team that was able to gather the detail information needed quickly and accurately and the assistance from their lender.
“Our banker, Jon Bartel of Bank of Oklahoma, was a real champion for small community businesses like us. He was going far beyond the normal expectations, working around the clock, and doing whatever it takes to best serve his customers and put them in position to receive the funds that were on a first-come, first-serve basis,” Ragan said “Because of Jon’s proactive nature, we were able to properly submit our application on the first day and were fortunate enough to receive the funds in the first wave.”
More details about the data and a complete look at the rankings can be found at SmartAsset.com.