OnDeck (NYSE: ONDK), an online SME lender, has been approved as a Small Business Administration (SBA) lender to facilitate the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the CARES Act Coronavirus assistance program.
Under the PPP, OnDeck will be processing and servicing loans on behalf of Celtic Bank, a Utah-Chartered Industrial bank, Member FDIC, and a top SBA lenders.
OnDeck also says it has applied to the SBA to become a direct lender under the Paycheck Protection Program.
“We are proud to play a crucial role in the Paycheck Protection Program and will leverage our proven online lending platform and world class customer service team to process small business applications quickly and transparently. Small business owners are dealing with enough uncertainty, and we know their time is valuable. Accordingly, we plan to carefully scale our application intake to ensure an outstanding customer experience and avoid excessive wait times between approval and funding.”
The PPP provides low-interest loans, with a possibility for loan forgiveness, if the company maintains payroll during the allotted period. The US government has recognized that providing such assistance is less expensive than companies laying off employees who will quickly file for unemployment while undermining the ability for the small business to boost operations after the crisis has turned the corner.