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As a community bank, we understand and value the important role businesses play in our communities. We believe it’s our responsibility to be a trusted advisor for our business clients that are experiencing hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic and help them return to business as usual in the future.

Use this page to learn more about the financial resources and programs that may be available to your business. Merchants Bank is a designated SBA Preferred Lender, which positions us to fast track assistance to you through SBA programs as guidance is published. If you have any questions about the information provided, or just need to talk about your individual situation, please contact your local Commercial Banker.

CARES Act

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the $2 trillion CARES Act, which includes $367 billion to help small business owners weather the economic crisis created by the pandemic. The CARES Act also established the Paycheck Protection Program.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is intended to provide capital to small businesses to help meet short-term ongoing expenses, including employee payroll, interest payments on any mortgage obligations, payments on rent obligations, and any utilities payments.

Who is eligible?
At this time, most small businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible. Businesses in certain industries can have more than 500 employees if they meet applicable SBA employee-based size standards for those industries. Business must have been operational as of February 15, 2020 and had employees for whom it paid salaries and payroll taxes, or a paid independent contractor.

As part of the application process the U.S. Department of the Treasury states that businesses must certify in good faith that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” This good faith certification should take into account “current business activity and ability to access other sources of liquidity sufficient to support business's ongoing operations in a manner that is not significantly detrimental to the business.” Determining the needs and eligibility of your business is the responsibility of the applicant.

How does my business apply?
You may complete the application provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and submit the application to Merchants Bank by contacting your Commercial Banker.

View PPP Loan Application

Update: January 15, 2021

Please review the details below from the SBA regarding an update to the Paycheck Protection Program. Current Merchants Bank customers may contact their Commercial Banker to start the application process for PPP First Draw or Second Draw loans.

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Paycheck Protection Program for First Draw Loans

SBA is reopening the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for First Draw Loans the week of January 18, 2021. First Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.

Full Forgiveness Terms

First Draw PPP Loans made to eligible borrowers qualify for full loan forgiveness if during the 8- to 24-week covered period following loan disbursement:

  • Employee and compensation levels are maintained;
  • The loan proceeds are spent on payroll costs and other eligible expenses; and
  • At least 60 percent of the proceeds are spent on payroll costs.
Who Can Apply
Eligible small entities, that together with their affiliates (if applicable), have 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors—can apply. Entities with more than 500 employees in certain industries that meet SBA’s alternative size standard or SBA’s size standards for those particular industries can also apply.

Reapplying and Loan Increases
Existing PPP borrowers that did not receive loan forgiveness by December 27, 2020 may: (1) reapply for a First Draw PPP Loan if they previously returned some or all of their First Draw PPP Loan funds, or (2) under certain circumstances, request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount if they previously did not accept the full amount for which they are eligible.

How and When to Apply
Borrowers can apply for a First Draw PPP Loan until March 31, 2021, through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, eligible non-bank lender, or Farm Credit System institution that is participating in PPP, such as Merchants Bank. All new First Draw PPP Loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. Full terms and additional program details can be found HERE

Paycheck Protection Program for Second Draw Loans
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) now allows certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan with the same general loan terms as their First Draw PPP Loan. Second Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations. Learn more about PPP Second Draw Loans on the SBA website.

Update: May 28, 2020

The application for SBA PPP loan forgiveness is now available. Please review the application information carefully as it is quite detailed and requires particular documentation. We anticipate additional loan forgiveness guidance and requirements from the U.S. Department of the Treasury over the coming weeks.

  • Page 9 - Schedule A Worksheet to help you determine calculations regarding payroll.
  • Page 10 – Documentation list for documents you need to submit with your application and those you must maintain but are not required to submit.
Contact your Commercial Banker for more information or to get started.


Update: May 8, 2020

The original deadline for repaying the SBA PPP loan, as described in the April 29 update above was May 7. That deadline has been extended one week to May 14.

Update: April 29, 2020

The Small Business Administration and  U.S. Department of the Treasury has released new guidance. Based on this guidance, if you have not done so already, we would strongly encourage businesses who have already applied to carefully review liquidity sources in relation to your SBA PPP application.

As a reminder, as part of the SBA PPP loan process, the U.S. Department of the Treasury states that an applying business certified in good faith that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” This good faith certification should have taken into account “current business activity and ability to access other sources of liquidity sufficient to support business's ongoing operations in a manner that is not significantly detrimental to the business.”

Going forward, businesses who do not meet this guidance will not qualify for SBA PPP Loans. If your business applied for a SBA PPP loan prior to this guidance being issued, you may reevaluate your situation and choose to repay your loan in full by May 7, 2020. Businesses who repay by the 7th will be deemed by the SBA to have made the required certification in good faith. Determining the needs and eligibility of your business is the responsibility of the applicant.

Update: April 27, 2020

Additional funds were made available for the Paycheck Protection Program as of today and the SBA is accepting applications again. Merchants Bank is processing applications that have been held since April 16 when initial funds in the program were depleted. New applicants may submit applications to your Commercial Banker, as described above.

Update: April 16, 2020

The funds for the Paycheck Protection Program loans have been expended and the SBA is not accepting applications at this time. Merchants Bank will hold applications we have already received and we will continue to accept new applications from our customers in anticipation of additional funding being approved for the program. For updated information, return to this site or visit the SBA website.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Relief Loans/Economic Impact Disaster Loan

The SBA is providing low-interest disaster loans to businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Learn more about eligibility and the application process on the SBA website

U.S. Department of the Treasury Assistance for Small Businesses

Get details on Paycheck Protection Program application, program overview, frequently asked questions and more. Visit Treasury Department website.

State of Minnesota Resources

Helpful resources for businesses located in Minnesota.

State of Wisconsin Resources

Helpful resources for businesses located in Wisconsin.