Letters to the editor — May 6, 2020

Local nonprofit hurt by funding policy

While Payroll Protection Plan relaunched this week to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll, I sincerely hope this round is handled fairly and equitably. The last round was not, hurting many of the businesses here on the peninsula.

In fact, Olympic Peninsula Humane Society (OPHS) was prevented by their local bank from even applying at all! While throngs of applications were being processed nationwide, OPHS was repeatedly told by their bank an application link would be forthcoming after “beta testing” completed.

However, OPHS was eventually told no application link would be forthcoming … at all. Instead, the bank was only providing their business loan clients the link. This left no time for other arrangements as funds ran out the following day.

This bank’s lack of transparency left many local clients out in the cold. Additionally, the decision to only allow loan customers to apply protected them from potential bad debt if those clients defaulted.

Moreover, some banks gave priority to their largest clients as processing fees received by the bank are inherently more on a request for a greater loan than a small loan application, both taking the same amount work.

The purpose of the PPP loan program was to protect small businesses and their employees, not the bank’s interests. This discriminatory process cost OPHS more than $100,000 in sorely-needed funding while donations wane. Other local banks stepped up and were there for their business community. Shame on this bank, and others, that were not.

Luanne Hinkle

Executive Director, Olympic Peninsula Humane Society

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