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Seven lenders dominate largest Delaware PPP loans

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Seven banks accounted for nearly 75% of the 2,072 U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans over $150,000 in Delaware.

Not surprisingly, names like WSFS, M&T, and PNC topped the list, but there were a few lenders to make the list over larger banks that were more active nationwide. The seven also accounted for more than half of all the PPP loans made to Delaware companies.

As of July 21, 255 lenders have assisted 8,267 small businesses in Delaware for a total of $1.36 billion in PPP loans.  Within that group, WSFS has financed $407.4 million through 1,859 loans; M&T Bank has financed $295 million through 1,780 loans; and Citizens, TD, and Fulton Bank have each issued around 500 PPP loans for amounts ranging from $60.4 million to $68.2 million.

Although a great deal has been made of the fact that minority companies did not benefit to a great degree from the PPP program, some of the largest lenders indicated that the SBA did not require the collection of demographic information as part of its program’s loan application and nearly 95% of the borrowers did not self-identify.

The Delaware Business Times did compare the list of borrowers of more than $150,000 to the state’s list of minority-owned businesses, but data for the smaller loans was aggregated so that comparison could not be done.

Of the more than 2,000 loan recipients above $150,000, only 14 identified themselves as minority-owned, 70 as women-owned, and 13 as veteran-owned. That said, representatives from the most active Delaware lenders said they took special care to ensure that nonprofits and businesses operating in low- or moderate-income geographies were not left behind.

WSFS Bank dedicated more than 200 associates to work on PPP applications across its operations, enabling the regional bank to secure approvals for more than 5,000 loans system wide worth nearly $1 billion, Director of Government Guaranteed Lending Candice Caruso said.

WSFS made 553 loans in Delaware above $150,000 – including loans for $5 million or more to I.D. Griffith, M. Davis & Company, Crystal Steel Fabricators, First State Orthopaedics, and Iron Hill Brewery and 65 more for amounts ranging from $1 million to $5 million, according to the SBA data. But Caruso said another 1,600 businesses received PPP loans under $150,000.

“The average amount for these loans is approximately $43,000,” she said. “Overall, about 25% of the PPP loans we processed throughout the region were for $150,000 or more.”

M&T Bank approved about 2,500 loans for more than $372 million in the Delaware market, said spokesman Scott Graham. That means less than 20% of its loans were for more than $150,000.

M&T made four loans for amounts ranging from $5 million to $10 million to Sobieski Consolidated, Metal Masters Foodservice Equipment, GT USA Wilmington, and Nixon Uniform Service. It processed a total of 49 PPP loans for more than $1 million.

“Those loans supported more than 38,000 jobs in the region. The average size of a loan in our Delaware market was $150,326, which helps to highlight the bank’s commitment to helping the state’s smaller businesses,” Graham said.

Graham said M&T has also remained committed to helping customers with other financing and lending options, including new credit extensions, payment deferrals, traditional SBA loans and other resources they need to sustain their operations. He also said that the bank has contributed $150,000 in direct response to COVID-19 relief efforts organized by Delaware Community Foundation Strategic Fund, Food Bank of Delaware, United Way of Delaware Rapid Response Fund, Delaware State University COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund and Zip Code Wilmington.

Although PNC Financial Services Group declined to break out total loan data for Delaware, 25 of its loans were for more than $1 million, including loans for $5 million to $10 million to United Electric Supply of New Castle and Ensinger Industries of Wilmington, which manufactures high-performance engineering plastics.

“One interesting trend we saw to some degree speaks to the Delaware’s proud tradition and strong base of nonprofits that support the community,” PNC spokesman Jason Beyersdorfer said. “We often hear from local nonprofit leaders that they lack access to credit solutions and believe there’s not always a clear avenue to pursue. PPP gave us an opportunity to work with a community organization and support them through the application process, which helped them access much needed capital at a critical moment.”

More than 20% of all of the loans registered by PNC went to small businesses in underserved communities and more than 4,500 of the registered loans went to nonprofit organizations.

Fulton Bank made 119 loans over $150,000 to Delaware PPP borrowers, including four for amounts in excess of $1 million – two to Wholesale Millwork in Seaford and Burke Equipment Corp. in Camden-Wyoming for $1 million to $2 million and two for $2 million to $5 million to Wilmington law firms Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy LLC and Potter, Anderson & Corroon.

A Fulton Bank spokesperson provided aggregate data for its five-state footprint, including the fact that it provided $19.1 million in loans below $150,000 to 421 Delaware companies and the majority of them south of the canal.

TD Bank made 112 loans over $150, including loans in excess of $2 million to four Wilmington organization – High 5 Games, Regional Orthopaedic Associates, The Actor’s Fund of America, and Tower Hill School Association. It made nearly 900 loans when you include the under $150,000 group.

As for the next two top $150,000+ lenders in Delaware, Citizens Bank of Delaware declined comment and Readycap Lending, which describes itself as a New York-based real-estate finance company that specializes in loans backed by commercial real estate, did not respond by press time.

By Peter Osborne


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