The news of the passage of the CARES Act came as a relief to many local small businesses trying to find a way to stay afloat during the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Small Business Administration application process can be overwhelming and multiple changes to the original program made it confusing for some individuals to be able to file confidently. That’s why Bank of Columbia has been dedicated to assisting business owners in filing applications for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program. Bank of Columbia President/CEO Mark Dykes is hopeful that these businesses will be able to open their doors again when the crisis is over. Bank of Columbia has disbursed over $3 million in SBA PPP funds (at the time of this release), with that total projected to hit $6 million by the end of next week. Those funds are almost exclusively loans to local businesses, which means the money stays here to help business owners continue paying their employees. Dykes expressed his appreciation to the community for their confidence in the Bank of Columbia staff. “We are thankful to be in a position to be able to help our community…this is exactly what community banks are for—to help everyone navigate an uncertain time.” Dykes continued, “One of the most vital roles we can fill is to reassure local businesses that we are here to help relieve some of their anxiety. Then they can focus on their families.” Bank of Columbia will continue to accept applications as long as funding is available.