Banks See High Demand for Loans and Refinancing

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began closing businesses and lowering interest rates, banks in the Flathead Valley are reporting high numbers of phone calls, loan applications and mortgage refinances.

Banks have seen a lot of activity through the Small Business Administration’s $349 billion federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which authorizes forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the pandemic. But the loan program ran out of funding on April 16 and can no longer accept applications.

Glacier Bank Market President Bob Nystuen says the bank’s 16 locations had received 1,100 PPP loan applications as of April 16, which would total to $100 million if they all were processed.