The Iowa Bankers Association estimates 325,000 Iowa jobs have been protected through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program put in place to help companies cope from the fallout of the global pandemic.

John Sorensen, the association’s president and CEO, said thousands more jobs could be protected but money for the program ran out this morning.

“We have thousands of applications in the queue that are waiting for additional funding for this program,” Sorensen said. He said the association is urging Congress to pass another round of economic aid that would add additional money for the program. 

The SBA today also announced on its website that the $10 billion appropriated for Economic Injury Disaster Loans had dried up.

More than 22,200 Iowa small businesses, through Monday, had been approved to receive $3.74 billion from the Paycheck Protection Program, SBA data shows. The average size of a loan to an Iowa small business is $168,154.

About $350 billion was earmarked for the program in the $2 trillion federal coronavirus relief package signed into law in late March. 

The program was rolled out a week after the relief package was signed into law.

Sorensen said Iowa banks delivered more loans per small business than most other states in the country. 

“The intent of Congress and the administration was to get [the loans] to Main Street as quickly as possible,” Sorensen said. “We did that, but not without some glitches.”

Lenders had challenges in accessing and maintaining access to the electronic loan portal, he said. In addition, guidance for the program was released slowly. Lenders did not want to approve loans that didn’t meet SBA guidelines.

“If you don’t follow the directives of the program, the [lender] could lose the federal guarantee on that loan,” Sorensen said. “It’s important that banks are in a position to know what their potential liability will be and will they be held harmless.” 

The goal of the Paycheck Protection Program is to cover eight weeks of a small business’s payroll expenses, so the company can keep or rehire workers for reasons related to COVID-19. Some of the money can also be used to pay interest on loans and for utilities. The loans are forgivable provided that 75% of the total amount borrowed is used for payroll expenses.