OregonLive Letter to the Editor: Posted Jun 29, 2020
News reports detail how the Main Street Lending Program and the Paycheck Protection Program, the Fed’s programs to assist small- and medium-sized business, have failed in their missions. This is partly because the private banks’ participation in the programs was optional, creating confusion for those applying. Loan-seekers had to search for a participating bank, then try to figure out how to apply for the programs. Many banks did not even know the programs existed.
The case is so different in North Dakota, which has the highest Paycheck Protection Program loan awards per worker of any state. Why is that? Because it has the nation’s only public state bank. The North Dakota State Bank coordinated unemployment benefits through community banks and could educate local bankers on the programs’ requirements before the programs were launched. This allowed rapid and easy participation.
Why did it do that? Because a public bank’s mission is to provide a public benefit and service….