Customer Relief Solutions
We recognize that some of you are facing financial hardships as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We're here to help our customers and communities during these challenging times.
- Consumer, Home Equity and Mortgage Loans
- Paycheck Protection Program
- National Coin Shortage
Consumer, Home Equity and Mortgage Loans
If you have a loan and need assistance, contact your local office or call our Customer Contact Center at 1-877-672-5678. You may be eligible for additional assistance.
If your business has been affected by coronavirus, we can provide relief solutions and help you better understand the current government loan assistance programs. To find out more, contact your business lender, treasury management advisor or our Customer Contact Center at 1-877-672-5678.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Programs
At Northwest, we care about our Small Business and Commercial clients and are committed to helping businesses navigate these challenging times. As a long-standing Preferred SBA Lender, we have been closely following the SBA and its lending programs for use in COVID-19 relief. Our experienced team of SBA lenders are well-versed in SBA loan programs and are dedicated to providing your business guidance and advice as the government delivers assistance programs and options to support your business.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, relief dollars were allocated to help small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. Within this Act, the government authorized the Small Business Administration (SBA) to back Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through local lenders.
We're no longer accepting PPP loan applications. We are pleased to announce that nearly 100% of the PPP loan applications we received were approved by the SBA— 4,670 loans that provide more than $445 million worth of relief.
Information for Northwest PPP customers about forgiveness
If you’re a Northwest PPP customer, we hope that loan forgiveness-- which is a key driver of the program—is on your mind. It’s certainly on ours.
As we monitor what’s happening in Washington, we are working to develop an easy-to-use portal to facilitate the forgiveness process. Through this portal, you’ll be able to-
- Electronically submit and sign your PPP forgiveness application
- Upload supporting documentation
- And, communicate directly with our team
Keep in mind, the portal is the only way to apply for forgiveness through Northwest. We will not be accepting paper applications.
We’ll provide you with more information on both the forgiveness process and our portal as it becomes available.
What can you do in the meantime?
As you prepare to apply for forgiveness, we recommend that you read up on all the forgiveness rules and requirements. You’ll find the latest on the PPP and forgiveness guidance on the SBA’s website here.
What’s most important is that you make sure you are doing everything within the regulation to maximize the amount of forgiveness you can receive. Actively managing your staff and payroll now will help ensure you make the most of forgiveness later on in the process.
Here’s the latest on the PPP from the SBA—
In June, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of Treasury made significant changes to the program.
Details about these changes can be found here on the SBA's website, but following is a snap shot of what's significant—
You have more time to use your PPP loan proceeds.
The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) extended the original eight-week period to use your loan proceeds to 24 weeks-- or until December 31, 2020, whichever comes first. This gives you more time to use your funds and maximize your loan forgiveness. With this change, you can still use the original eight-week period for your forgiveness application if that’s what you prefer.
You can spend less of your funds on payroll.
The PPPFA lowered the threshold on how much you are required to spend on payroll costs from 75% to 60%. The remaining 40% must be spent on approved non-payroll expenses, like utilities and mortgage, rent or lease expenses.
Loan payment deferment has changed.
Originally, payments were deferred for six months from your disbursement date. The following changes have been made under the PPPFA--
- If you apply for forgiveness, your monthly payments will be deferred until the SBA remits the amount of forgiveness to us.
- If you don't apply for forgiveness, your monthly payments will be deferred for ten months after the last day of your covered period (8 or 24 weeks).
You have more time to fill positions if you had layoffs.
The PPPFA extended the deadline to re-hire members of your team who were laid off to December 31, 2020. It also provided additional safe harbors for businesses that are unable to rehire laid-off workers.
The SBA released new and updated forgiveness applications.
The SBA released new forgiveness applications, including an EZ application. Borrowers can use the EZ application if they meet one of the following requirements:
- Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
- Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25% and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
- Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19 and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.
Stay tuned—changes are being made to the PPP and other available programs regularly. We’ll provide information here as we receive it.
The impacts of the national coin shortage
Offices throughout our retail network are currently experiencing a coin shortage. This coin shortage is impacting businesses and financial institutions across the country and is a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why is this happening?
The U.S. Federal Reserve announced their coin inventory has been reduced to lower-than-normal levels due to COVID-19. Specifically, the Fed has seen a significant decline in coin deposits from banks. And, in order to protect its employees, the U.S. Mint temporarily closed and stopped coin production.
In light of this, on June 15 the Fed began rationing their shipments of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to all financial institutions. The ration will remain in effect until both the U.S. Mint’s inventory and the recirculation of coins in the marketplace return to normal.
What can you do?
- Rather than cash, use alternate payment methods like debit and credit cards, checks or P2P services like Northwest’s Popmoney or Venmo when you can.
- Or—use coin when making purchases at local businesses.
- If you’re a business, now’s a great time to think about accepting alternate forms of payment. Through Northwest Merchant Services, you can accept debit, credit and gift card payments in-store, online or on-the-go through your mobile device.
- Roll your change and deposit it into the bank. It will help ensure it gets into the hands of the customers and businesses who really need it.