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Episode from the podcastWinning On Main Street - Small Business Podcast

How Small Businesses Are Saving the American Dream During a Pandemic - Brock Blake

Released Friday, 24th July 2020
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Lendio is the largest marketplace for small business loans in America, think Expedia for hotel or Yelp for restaurants. We help connect small businesses to the various financial institutions offering loans to small businesses. We offer every type of business loan product from lines of credit to term loans, SBA loans, and many more. It’s a free service for small businesses and we make our cut on the backend from the banks if the business moves forward with the loan. 

Our mission at Lendio is to fuel the American Dream, we help entrepreneurs access the capital needed to fuel their American Dream. So far we’ve helped fund a little over 200 thousand businesses for approximately 10 billion dollars. The average size loan we see is 40 to 50 thousand dollars for small businesses with primarily 10 to 20 employees. 

Small businesses find us primarily online or through one of our business partners. Once a business comes to us we employ a high-tech and high-touch model. In the background, there are a lot of moving pieces but on the other side, we understand the small business owners want to talk to someone. So we assign a funding manager to each application to help meet the customers where and how they want to communicate. 

When it comes to the PPP loans we’re at the tail-end of the first wave of the original PPP loans. As the pandemic continues to rage on, Congress is discussing the second round of PPP loans. From what I understand it will be based on need, such as being able to show a decline in revenue, and it will be targeted towards certain industries. If I were guessing, it all depends on Congress, the second round of funding will be in the 2 to 3 billion dollar range for PPP loans. 

So far we’ve helped 300 lending institutions make PPP loans to over 100 thousand businesses for approximately 8 billion dollars in loans. Every step of the way we had to figure out the process because no one had ever done a PPP loan before. There was more demand in one weekend than our lenders had seen in the past 15 years combined. It was a crazy time and we decided to tweak our mission from funding the American Dream to saving the American Dream. 

When it comes to loan forgiveness you need to go back to your lender and complete the loan forgiveness documentation. You will have to show how the money was spent and for approved expenses, you won’t have to pay that money back. For any expenses that don’t get approved those funds will turn into a loan that you will have 5 years to pay back. Congress is talking about establishing a threshold for say loans below 150 thousand dollars that could automatically get forgiven. 

As we look ahead, I think it’s still going to be a while before we turn the corner but I expect we will begin to see things improve. Entrepreneurs are resilient, creative, optimistic, and they are good at figuring out how to solve problems. Right now it’s about surviving and coming up with creative ways to drive revenue.