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Community Bank Provides $300 Million Shot In Arm for 1,300-Plus New Jersey and Pennsylvania Businesses

HAMILTON, N.J.June 9, 2021—First Bank announced today that it helped save 14,649 local jobs at small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with a much-needed cash infusion over the last 14 months.

The community bank helped 1,352 small businesses throughout New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania secure more than $298.8 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans, a federal government program designed to keep more employees on the payroll.

“The community banking industry played a pivotal role during the pandemic, providing small businesses and their employees with a bridge to a better, post-pandemic economy,” said First Bank President & CEO Patrick L. Ryan. “We’re proud of how well our team leveraged our lending, operational and technical expertise to support this critical relief program during a time when many businesses, in every sector, experienced unprecedented economic hardship and uncertainty. First Bank proved once more that a true community bank always goes above and beyond—no matter the circumstances—to be the economic shoulder its neighbors can lean on.”

Highlights of First Bank’s PPP efforts from the program’s inception in March 2020 through its conclusion on May 31 of this year include:

  • More than 1,930 PPP loans approved by the SBA.
  • The average PPP loan size of just under $155,000.
  • 1,250 loans were for less than $100,000.
  • Almost 80% of the loans went to companies with fewer than 100 employees.
  • 67% of all loans went to companies with fewer than 25 employees.  
    • Of those loans, 69% went to small businesses with fewer than 10 workers.
  • 416 of the PPP loans were for new First Bank customers.

The businesses and organizations First Bank helped support via its PPP loan approvals included minority and women-owned businesses, main street retailers and restaurants, manufacturers, farms and other agricultural companies, health care facilities and construction firms, among others.

Ryan said First Bank implemented a multifaceted approach to processing PPP loans in order to better assist borrowers.  The Bank utilized personal relationships combined with best-in-class technology to help customers work quickly and efficiently through the application, funding, and forgiveness processes. By listening intently and asking smart questions, frontline employees such as branch managers and staff worked one-on-one with customers to prepare and submit their PPP applications. Meanwhile, back-end personnel worked continuously to finish the processing required to obtain loan approval. The Hamilton, N.J.-based community bank also bolstered its digital platform to automate, streamline and fast track the PPP application process.