WESTFIELD BANK PARTICIPATES IN PAYROLL PROTECTION PROGRAM
James C. Hagan, President and CEO of Westfield Bank (the “Bank”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western New England Bancorp, Inc. (NasdaqGS:WNEB), is pleased to announce the Bank’s recent participation in the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program. To date, the Bank has secured SBA approval and funding for 1,385 local businesses totaling $228.5 million.
The Paycheck Protection Program was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), and implemented by the SBA with support from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Funds are provided in the form of loans and will be fully forgiven if the borrower uses all of the loan proceeds for forgivable purposes and maintains employee and compensation levels.
To date, the Bank has secured SBA approval and funding for 1,385 local businesses totaling $228.5
million. Both customers and non-customers of the Bank were encouraged to apply, and the Bank was able to leverage a digital solution mid-way through the application period to increase efficiencies, accelerate turnaround times, and provide the best customer experience possible considering the high volume of applications. This technology will be used to streamline the forgiveness process of the program set to begin in the near future.
“In addition to the humanitarian cost, the coronavirus pandemic has had a profound effect on the global, national, regional, and local economies. The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program provides critical funding to local businesses, and indirectly to their employees and families,” said Mr. Hagan. “I am extremely proud of our commercial lending and loan servicing teams, who adjusted employee resources and processes, and worked tirelessly including nights and weekends, to meet the unprecedented volume of the Paycheck Protection Program. Through their efforts, we were able to help 1,385 local businesses.”
The bank continues to remain focused on servings its communities during this challenging time—including residents, businesses, and community organizations. The bank has maintained its standard hours for branch lobby appointments and drive-up banking, has a full suite of electronic banking services, and provides financial assistance to residential and commercial loan customers.