PORTLAND, Maine — Fewer of Maine’s small businesses are seeking help under a replenished Paycheck Protection Program aimed to help employers weather the pandemic, officials say.
“We thought there would be a little more of a surge [of loan applications],” Renee Smyth of Camden National Bank told the Portland Press Herald. “We are not experiencing that right now.”
About 4,700 loans worth $371 million have been approved for Maine employers in the first two weeks.
Last year, lenders issued more than 28,000 PPP loans worth almost $2.3 billion to Maine employers.
Companies can apply for a second loan if they have 300 or fewer employees and show a revenue loss of at least 25 percent during any quarter of 2020 compared with the same period the year before.
But stricter application requirements, other funding options and the recovery of some industries from last year’s economic shock appear to be factors in reducing their need for more government help.
Camden National was one of the largest PPP lenders in 2020, processing more than 3,000 loans worth almost $245 million.
So far, it has made about one-quarter of that number of loans in the current round. “The sense of urgency isn’t there,” Smyth said.