BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Banks processed a staggering number of small business loans before the federal government's emergency small business lending program ran out of money on Thursday.
M&T Bank, Western New York's largest bank, approved $811 million in loans across 3,945 small businesses in the Buffalo region. Nationally, it managed $6.4 billion across more than 27,000 companies.
"We're proud of our team's hard work and dedication to our customers and community, but this is one milestone on a long and difficult journey, and we're continuing to work hard so no one is left behind," said Michael Zabel, Vice President, Public Relations at M&T Bank.
For comparison, Zabel says the bank processed 1,449 SBA loans in all of 2019.
Similarly, KeyBank has also been slammed with applicants.
Through April 15th, KeyBank processed approximately 35,000 SBA applications from clients across 15 states, amounting to $8.5 billion in funds from the Paycheck Protection Program.
"While the Paycheck Protection Program is on hold because the initial funds have been exhausted, we are hopeful for the expansion of the program's support and encourage Congress to act quickly," said Matthew Pitts, spokesman for KeyBank.
The ability to approve such a volume of loan applications in such a short amount of time is a feat in itself.
Zabel says M&T had to redeploy employees across the bank, and 2,000 people worked to get 96% of loans approved.