The PPP lenders that led the way in Tampa Bay

From the opening bell on April 3 to the last call on Aug. 8, more than 80,000 Tampa Bay businesses applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan.

In total, more than $6.6 billion came to the region through the loans, a decent chunk of the $31 billion that passed through Florida and of the $525 billion that was loaned through the program.

Tasked with connecting borrowers to the Small Business Administration’s program — which provided loans that can be completely forgiven to businesses with less than 500 employees — were a legion of banks, credit unions and financial institutions. More than 800 lenders provided a PPP loan to at least one Tampa Bay business, although less than 170 lenders provided at least 10.

The biggest providers of PPP loans were, unsurprisingly, some of the biggest banks in the United States. Bank of America supplied the most loans — more than 10,000 for the Tampa Bay region alone. But by total dollar amount, they were second to Truist Bank, which provided $599 million to local businesses against Bank of America’s $555 million.

Truist, which was formed last year through the merger of SunTrust and BB&T, provided more large loans in Tampa Bay than any other lender. When the SBA released data this summer on PPP loans larger than $150,000, Truist provided the most such loans, including the most loans larger than $1 million.

The third-largest originator of local PPP loans was Kabbage, an Atlanta-based financial technology company that provides small business funding. The average loan size from Kabbage was a little over $17,000, easily the smallest amongst lenders in the top 10.

Wells Fargo ended up being the fourth-largest originator of loans with 4,703, even though the next two banks in the top 10 — Regions Bank and Chase Bank — provided more money. Wells Fargo was able to overcome a rough start to the program, when the bank encouraged customers to seek out other lenders after it had hit its regulator-enforced lending limit. Wells Fargo brought in $165 million, while Chase and Alabama-based Regions provided $224 million and $367 million, respectively.

Prolific SBA lenders

After Regions and Chase, the seventh and eighth spots were occupied by a pair of out-of-state lenders: Celtic Bank and Cross River Bank. Celtic is an industrial bank based in Salt Lake City, Utah, that has become one of the more prolific SBA lenders in the country in recent years. New Jersey-based Cross River has often worked with community banks.

Like Kabbage, both banks provided smaller loans, with Celtic providing $53 million for Tampa Bay while Cross River contributed $71 million.

Locally based banks rounded out the top 10. South State Bank, based in Winter Haven and formerly known as CenterState Bank, provided 2,259 loans in the region worth $285 million. The Bank of Tampa, a community bank, provided fewer loans but at a larger average, adding up to 2,155 loans worth $381 million.

While other local lenders did not crack the top 10, they still helped to bring millions in PPP loans to Tampa Bay. First Citrus Bank provided 1,156 loans worth $101 million. Pilot Bank issued 528 loans worth $62 million. Suncoast Credit Union supplied 1,112 loans worth $29 million, while other local credit unions Grow Financial and Achieva provided $19 million and $23 million to local businesses, respectively.

Click here to view original article in the Tampa Bay Business Journal

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