Businesses in the Marianas, including hotels and restaurants, received a total of 482 forgivable loans worth about $40 million that will help them weather the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) over the weekend.
Sablan disclosed in his e-kilili newsletter that data provided to his office by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco last week showed that retailers and hotel and food service businesses in the Marianas were the largest users of the Paycheck Protection Program, which was administered by local banks.
Of the 482 PPP loans, 12 went to small businesses on Tinian and 13 to Rota, he said.
The U.S. Congress created the PPP loans to assist small businesses weather the pandemic, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2019 and was subsequently signed into law in March 2020.
Of the 482 PPP loans approved for the CNMI, 428 were for less than $150,000 and 54 were larger than $150,000.
The PPP lenders were First Hawaiian Bank, with 268 loan applicants; Bank of Guam, 129; Bank of Hawaii, 83; and Cross River Bank, two.