In his advisory work as the de facto CFO for many of his physician clients, Brett Tushingham has had the opportunity to see the good, bad and downright ugly when it comes to the small business loan process set forth in the CARES Act five weeks ago.

Now that President Donald Trump has signed the third funding package into law to provide $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)—the much sought-after initiative to provide forgivable loans to small businesses with 500 or fewer employees devasted by the pandemic—the advisor, who founded Tushingham Wealth Strategies in Wilmington, N.C., hopes his hard work to help clients get loans continues to pay off.

“I’ve had clients get loans, but the majority are pending and one client who applied with Wells Fargo hasn’t had any response,” Tushingham told Financial Advisor.

Clients who had established banking relationships with credit unions and local or regional banks fared well, while those who ran the gauntlet with national banks have not yet received funding, he said.

“I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum. The slowest application processes have been with the biggest banks. They’re just backed up and clients are getting no followup,” Tushingham said.

About one-third of Tushingham’s business clients who applied for a PPP loan have gotten funding while the rest are still waiting.

“As soon as the CARES Act came out, I spent three days reading it to get in touch with business clients to educate them about their funding options. I had the feeling it would be first come, first served for the funding, which turned out to be true. I assume it will be true again for this latest $310 billion,” added Tushingham, who along with other advisors interviewed anticipates a another funding package or two to replenish the program.

Tushingham said his proactive strategy has paid off for his physician and business clients, many of whom have told him he knows more about the PPP process than the bankers they’re dealing with.

Acting as his clients’ CFO has also allowed Tushingham  to work with their CPAs and bankers to ensure that all information needed for loan applications, such as payroll records, are complete, he said.

Because of his clients’ low debt level and emergency reserves, no physician clients have had to seek private financing, he said.

But he has helped them make determinations regarding staffing, layoffs, reduced work weeks and pricey equipment purchases.

“One more action I'm taking is having my clients look into refinancing their commercial and personal mortgages. Loans are near all-time lows and one client freed up over $500 a month by refinancing,” Tushingham said.

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