What Bell Bank is Doing to Address COVID-19


Bell Helped Thousands of Businesses Access SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program

As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic upended normal operations, businesses and nonprofits that needed help figuring out how to keep their employees on the payroll found assistance in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program. As an SBA-approved lender, Bell bankers worked around the clock, helping thousands of businesses access those funds.  

The initiative provided 100% federally guaranteed loans for up to 2½ times average monthly payroll costs (up to $10 million) to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Borrowers who follow certain requirements – such as keeping all employees on the payroll for 8 weeks and using the funds for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities – can have the loans forgiven.
“This is essentially a grant from the federal government to help businesses overcome what could otherwise be an almost insurmountable obstacle,” explains Paul Flood, Bell’s SBA lending manager and a veteran SBA lender. “Businesses are intrinsically woven into the fabric of our communities – providing products and services that enhance their customers’ lives, supporting local organizations, and contributing to the overall culture. Business owners are creative, innovative and resourceful, and I am amazed by all of the inventive methods they’re implementing to keep their businesses going on their own. I truly believe this time of crisis will make us stronger in the end. For now, I hope this Paycheck Protection Program will give some of our business owners the peace of mind they have desperately needed."
Some states have additional loan programs for businesses affected by the pandemic, so contact a banker at Bell to find out what may be available to you. 

How to Ensure Your SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Is Forgiven

Collateral and personal guarantees are not required for these SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans.


To make sure your loan is eligible to be fully forgiven:

  • Use the funds for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities
  • Use at least 75% of the amount you want forgiven for payroll costs
  • Maintain or quickly rehire employees and maintain salary levels (forgiveness amounts will be reduced if your full-time headcount declines or salaries and wages decrease)

If your loan is not fully forgiven, you will have 6 months before you have to start making loan payments. Loans, which have an interest rate capped at 1%, will be due in 2 years.


Learn more about Bell Bank SBA.