COVID Update: Stimulus Checks, SBA Info, Other News

U.S. Treasury Department

California and Nevada residents will receive a portion of the estimated 70 million paper stimulus checks scheduled for mailing from the Treasury Department to individuals starting in early May, after direct-deposit stimulus monies are disbursed in April. Please be prepared: your credit union’s branches or ATMs could experience unusually high activity in members physically depositing or cashing these checks.

State and federally chartered credit unions in both states are permitted — but not required — to cash stimulus checks for non-members as long as the individual is within the credit union’s field of membership. The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues know many credit unions serve under-banked and unbanked communities where this could pose issues.

The Leagues are continuing discussions with credit unions, regulators, and legislators as concerns mount regarding the ability of all financial institutions to safely and efficiently process these checks. The Leagues will alert credit unions as new information comes in.

SBA and Payroll Protection Program Update
This morning, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he is working with the Treasury Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration to add an additional $200 – $250 billion in funding for small business lending programs under the CARES Act. Senator McConnell's plan is to send a bill to President Donald Trump by the week’s end, using unanimous consent procedures to do so. Details are still emerging.

Last night, the SBA released a FAQ sheet on the Treasury Department’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP) for borrowers and lenders. The SBA says this document will be updated on a regular basis.

In a recent letter, the CUNA/League system highlights credit union concerns regarding the PPP to fund forgivable loans to small businesses for employee payroll, including 1) the compressed timeline for basic guidelines and an interim final rule; 2) unreasonably short loan terms; 3) lender liability; and 4) inability of credit unions to borrow for their employee payroll. The Leagues have additional concerns that have not been addressed solely in this letter. The Leagues are working with our members to address, highlight and flag issues that can be resolved via Treasury guidance. You can view the letter recently sent by the Credit Union National Association and the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) to Treasury Department Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.

If you have questions regarding the PPP, the SBA has a new lender-only call center number: 833-572-0502.

California Update
Due to the current economic crisis, the internal committee chairs of the Judicial Council of California have unanimously adopted recommendations to suspend eviction judgements and foreclosures on homeowners. You can view the council’s emergency COVID-19 response here, released yesterday afternoon.

Our Story’s Impact in the News
The Leagues have tallied some tremendous numbers from March 23 – 29 regarding California Governor Gavin Newsom and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s individual announcements that credit unions are committed to providing financial relief due to the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic:

  • In California: 193 “mentions” in domestic and international news media outlets of all sizes (full articles and news briefs). Some of our top media hits were in USA Today, Yahoo Finance, MarketWatch, and Los Angeles Times! About 73.3 million potential individual audience readers (“sets of eyeballs”) within online/digital monthly news subscribership; and a potential combined reach of 511 million individuals due to news mentions and 25,500 social media “shares.”
  • In Nevada: The Leagues are tallying numbers. Click here to listen to a major story aired on KNPR Nevada Public Radio, where the host interviewed Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra.

This represents the California and Nevada league kick-off announcements. Since then, the Leagues have continued to promote what credit unions are doing to provide assistance. There also has been local news coverage on the immense relief efforts credit unions are providing! Click here to hear and read some of the media coverage received by the League and credit unions.

CU Resources: COVID-19
Visit our COVID-19 Resources webpage for everything your credit unions needs to serve members. Also see our story "SBA Loan Info, State and Fed Updates, and More Resources" in the latest edition of CU Weekly.

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