Gov. Ricketts: Nebraska banks file for over $4.7B in loans for small businesses

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Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts speaks at a press briefing in Lincoln, Neb., Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Nebraska approved an $83.6 million emergency relief package Wednesday to help public health officials respond to new coronavirus as the number of cases continued to rise and Gov. Pete Ricketts expanded the list of counties where restaurants and bars will be forced to close their dining areas. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. (KCAU) – Governor Pete Ricketts said Nebraska banks have applied for over $4.7 Billion dollars in loans for small businesses in the state during his daily press conference Wednesday.

The Governor said over 7,837 forgivable loans for small Nebraska businesses have been filed by banks in the state.

Ricketts said the loans will allow businesses to rehire and keep employees on their payroll and restart operations. Nebraska banks are continuing to apply for the loans.

Jeff Kanger, Executive Vice President of First State Bank, said the loans are promised in the CARES act through the Payment Protection Program and banks are responsible for securing funding for the loans.

Kanger said the loans will be reimbursed through the Small Business Administration (SBA).

No business have received money through Payment Protection Program yet, Kanger said.

Kanger also said businesses should keep their receipts and track payroll, as those records will be necessary for their loans to be forgiven.

Ricketts said Nebraska is expected to hit the peak of the virus at the end of April. At that time, social distancing requirements will be re-evaluated.

The Governor also said when restrictions are relaxed it will be in stages to prevent the virus from rapidly bouncing back. In that situation, he said the recommended numbers for social gatherings will slowly rise.

Ricketts also signed a proclamation declaring Easter Sunday a Statewide Day of Prayer and asked Nebraskans to worship safely at home.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) confirmed 41 additional virus cases Wednesday. No new deaths were reported.

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