Riverview Community Bank issues loans to save small businesses
When small businesses across the country were in dire need of financial support during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was community banks that stepped up and saved jobs.
Riverview Community Bank, which has 19 branches in Oregon and Washington, including one in the heart of Gresham, was one of several financial institutions that backed its community.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be an unprecedented time globally, nationally and in the market areas we serve," said Kevin Lycklama, Riverview president and chief executive officer.
On March 27, the U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act providing financial relief and support to the economy. That included bolstered funding for the Small Business Association's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Riverview was one of several local banks that began processing PPP applications.
As of Tuesday, May 5, the community banks approved 751 loans totaling approximately $115.1 million. The average loan size has been $153,000, and 50 of the recipients were nonprofit organizations serving the region.
"The response to the rollout of this program by our staff has been tremendous," said Lycklama. "I would like to thank our employees who worked days, nights and weekends the last several weeks to provide this critical lifeline to our local business and communities."
The PPP loans were designed to incentivize small businesses to keep workers on the payroll. To achieve that goal, all loans will be forgiven if employers maintain their workforce for eight weeks and use the money for wages, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.
According to Riverview, the loans it issued saved nearly 12,000 jobs that otherwise would have fallen victim to layoffs and furloughs.
"Community banks across the nation stepped up when our communities and neighbors needed help," Lycklama said.
About 60% of loans in the first round of PPP were handled by banks with under $10 billion in assets, like Riverview.
This program has really highlighted the core values and spirit of a community bank," Lycklama said. "We were able to be flexible, respond quickly and provide the personal attention that our local business partners deserve and have come to expect from Riverview."
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