Local nonprofit hopes Congress will approve additional funds for Paycheck Protection Program

LiftFund: Demand exceeds expected funding

Small businesses still looking for help
Small businesses still looking for help

SAN ANTONIO – If the U.S. Congress passes a $480 billion COVID-19 economic stimulus package on Thursday, the leader of a local nonprofit organization that helps finance new small business and startup companies said the funds for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program might be available by Monday.

But LiftFund president and CEO Janie Barrera said the nonprofit is not accepting new PPP applications because the demand by small business owners interested in the potentially forgivable loans to cover their payroll far exceeds the funding yet to come.

"But we're going to try to do the best we can to be able to help those that we can," Barrera said.

She explained as a community lender, LiftFund has borrowed money from CreditHuman and Goldman Sachs that would be guaranteed by PPP funds allocated by Congress.

LiftFund still processing Paycheck Protection Program loan applications

Once PPP loans are approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Barrera said LiftFund releases the funds directly to the small business owners.

If those owners prove they kept their employees for eight weeks, Barrera said the loans don’t have to paid back.

“We’re hoping that 100% of that 32 to 35 million dollars will be allocated to LiftFund to be able to serve our community,” Barrera said.

Why the small business loan program is falling apart at the worst time

Barrera points out that LiftFund covers Texas and New Orleans, and as a result, any additional funding is already committed given that LiftFund received applications totalling $1 billion within 24 hours after PPP was announced April 13.

She said it’s vital that applications include the required documentation or risk having to delay or pull their application until they have the necessary paperwork.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.


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