Since the Paycheck Protection Program's (PPP) launch in early April, FNBML has approved $8,163,000 in desperately needed liquidity for 69 businesses disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

FNBML provided PPP loans to its existing customers with the average loan size of $118,000. The bank's PPP loans to current and new customers of FNBML preserved about 948 jobs at businesses in the bank's market area.

The staff of FNBML worked – sometimes around the clock – during April and May to help customers secure aid. "At FNBML, our employees were willing to make sacrifices to help our customers," said Larry Peterson, President & CEO of FNBML. "I could not be prouder of what our team accomplished in support of our local economy. Their effort clearly demonstrates that each one of them cares for our community. Each PPP loan represents jobs preserved in this time of crisis."

In Minnesota, more than 83,650 small businesses received a total of $11.2 Billion in PPP funding as of May 1 from SBA-approved lenders, the agency reported. "Community banks are coming out the heroes of the program in terms of coming online to serve their local economies, for responsiveness to borrowers, and for the number of loans [relative to their size]" said Brian McDonald, the Acting SBA Director for Minnesota. "Small businesses are benefiting from Minnesota's strong community banking sector and the lenders who are putting in long hours and submitting record quantities of SBA loans to help shore up their local economies."

Community bankers also set aside competition and worked together to provide each other with needed information to bring PPP lending online. "During the week of April 6th, I was on calls with bankers all day and everyday as they prepared to help their customers," said Jim Amundson, President & CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota. "The focus was not on who would gain the most; it was on collaborating as an industry to provide aid as soon as possible."

When congress authorized the second round of $310 Billion in PPP funding, it chose community banks as the exclusive provider for $60 Billion. Congress reserved $30 Billion of that amount for banks under $10 Billion. "Congress recognized that community banks had proven to be the most dependable PPP providers for the small businesses," Amundson said. "They stood in the gap for our country's small businesses while the largest banks were turning them away."

FNBML was born in and survived the 1918/19 Spanish Flu pandemic. By working together, we will get through this, too.

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